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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

New York AG Announces Settlements with Three Mobile Health Application Developers over Misleading Marketing Practices and Privacy Policies

State Issues NYDFS State Attorney General Fintech Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security


On March 23, the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) office announced settlements with U.S.-, Austria-, and Israel-based mobile application (app) developers who allegedly participated in misleading marketing practices and the mismanagement of consumer information—both of which are violations of New York Executive, Education, and General Business Laws. Two of the three developers claimed their health-related apps accurately measured heart rates, and a third allegedly claimed its app would measure a fetal heartbeat. However, all three failed to test the apps for accuracy, conduct comparisons to other approved products, or obtain approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The developers have agreed to provide additional testing information, will correct misleading advertisements, obtain affirmative consent from consumers for developers’ privacy policies, and will pay $30,000 in combined penalties to the NYAG’s office. Furthermore, all three developers have also made changes to their privacy policies and disclose the collecting and sharing of information that “may be personally identifying” including “users’ GPS location, unique device identifier, and ‘deidentified’ data that third parties may be able to use to reidentify specific users.”

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