Interactive Counsel

Arent Fox's interactive media law blog - latest news and trends in advertising, data security & privacy, and IP.

Interactive Counsel
Advertising
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FTC’s New Chief Technologist Outlines Regulatory Agenda

What’s the News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently named Ashkan Soltani as its newest Chief Technologist. In this role, Soltani will serve as the agency’s top regulator on a variety of issues involving technology and consumer protection. Chief among them are data security and online privacy, which have become major FTC priorities in recent years. Soltani is regarded as an expert in the privacy field and has previously served as an advisor to the FTC, state attorneys general, and major corporations.

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Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Prepaid & Stored Value Cards, Privacy & Security, Song-Beverly Act
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Ikea Seeks Class Decertification in ZIP Code Case

What Made News?

Ikea recently argued that a class action filed against it based on alleged violations of California’s Song-Beverly Act should not be maintained. Ikea admits that its sales registers prompt sales associates to collect ZIP codes from consumers, but it argues that associates often bypass the prompt. Because it does not have a policy to collect ZIP codes, Ikea claims that it cannot be held liable for the alleged illegal ZIP code collections.

Details of the Case

Consumers across the country have become accustomed to cashiers’ requests for ZIP codes, phone numbers, or other information at the point of sale. Although the requests are permitted in some states, other states — in particular, California — have strict laws prohibiting retailers from requesting personal information from customers paying with credit cards except in certain limited circumstances.

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Arent Fox LLP Presents: Bah Humbug! Regulations and Legal Strategy for the Holiday Retailer

Anthony Lupo and Sarah Bruno have partnered with the Footwear Distributors and Retailer of America (FDRA) to host This webinar. They will provide a summary of the tricky compliance issues with gift cards and will advise on the best way to structure a loyalty program so as to avoid a compliant under the applicable data collection laws. It will also provide omni-channeling advice for retailers that are collecting data in stores and from mobile apps and web sites.

Guests of Arent Fox should enter code AF2014 for a complimentary registration.

Click here to register.

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Arent Fox Once Again Named ‘Best Place to Work’ by Human Rights Campaign

Arent Fox LLP has received a perfect score in a national benchmarking survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. The firm is one of 350 major US businesses to earn top marks in the 2014 workplace equality report on corporate policies and practices for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.

“We are once again honored to receive this recognition from the Human Rights Campaign,” said Chairman Mark M. Katz, who also leads the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. “At Arent Fox, we believe that first-rate legal counsel and exceptional service is the product of a strong, diverse workplace that champions the values of equality and respect.”

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E-Commerce, Mobile Marketing, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Privacy & Security, User-Generated Content
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‘Killing the Password Dead’ and Other Updates in Cybersecurity

The Obama Administration has announced a series of initiatives to address the growing number of data breaches at major retailers. Millions of Americans and thousands of retailers have been the victims of data breaches over the past year, and consumers and legislators alike are increasingly looking for ways to secure sensitive data such as payment card account numbers. The most recent initiatives from the Administration focus on upgrading identity verification methods and point of sale terminals and could indicate the beginning of a major shift in data security practices among the nation’s retailers.

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Advertising
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Results of Caffeinated Shapewear? Slim to None

Two Women’s Shapewear Marketers Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Weight Loss and Slimming Claims


What’s the News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled with two separate marketers of women’s undergarments over charges that the companies made false and misleading claims about the weight loss and fat burning benefits of caffeine-infused shapewear products. Norm Thompson Outfitters, Inc. and Wacoal America, Inc. each sold women’s shapewear infused with caffeine and other ingredients. The companies claimed that the shapewear could substantially slim a wearer’s thighs and hips and break down cellulite.

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Advertising, E-Commerce, Mobile Marketing, Privacy & Security, Social Media, User-Generated Content
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BOGO? More Like ‘No Go’

FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law

What’s Making News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.

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Advertising
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FTC Breaks Down Biodegradable Requirements in Recent Warning Letters

What’s Making News?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently sent out 15 letters warning makers of plastic bags that claims indicating that such bags are “oxodegradable,” “oxo biodegradable,” or “biodegradable” may be viewed as deceptive under the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims (the Green Guides). According to the letters, the claims fail to comply with Green Guides requirements.

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Advertising, Promotions, Sweepstakes & Contests, E-Commerce
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Are You Behaving? Targeted Advertising Enforcement Ramping Up

What’s Making News?

The Better Business Bureau’s Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program (Accountability Program) recently challenged Best Buy, Yelp, Answers Corp., Buzzfeed Inc., and Go.com over the companies’ failure to provide adequate notice regarding the fact that information was collected from their sites for online behavioral advertising (OBA) purposes. This marks the first cases issued as part of the Accountability Program’s promised Compliance Warning review.

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Mobile Marketing, Payment Processing, Electronic Fund Transfers & Mobile Payments, Advertising
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AT&T Mobility to Pay $105 Million in Mobile Cramming Settlement

Yesterday, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler, and two state attorneys general representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia held a press conference to announce a significant enforcement action against AT&T Mobility for unlawfully billing customers for unauthorized third-party charges, also known as “cramming.”

At the press conference, the officials announced a $105 million settlement with AT&T to resolve state and federal mobile cramming investigations. AT&T will pay $80 million to the FTC, which will administer refunds to consumers, $20 million in penalties to the 50 states and DC, and $5 million in penalties to the FCC. This is the largest cramming settlement and largest FCC enforcement action in history.

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.