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FTC report highlights 2019 privacy and data security work

Privacy/Cyber Risk & Data Security FTC Enforcement Consumer Protection COPPA FTC Act UDAP Consumer Reporting

Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security

On February 25, the FTC released its annual report highlighting the agency’s privacy and data security work in 2019. Among other items, the report highlights consumer-related enforcement activities in 2018, including:

  • A $5 billion penalty—the largest consumer privacy penalty to date—against a global social media company to resolve allegations that the company violated its 2012 FTC privacy order and mishandled users’ personal information. (Covered by InfoBytes here.)
  • A $170 million penalty against a global online search engine and its video-sharing subsidiary to resolve alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). (Covered by InfoBytes here.) 
  • A proposed settlement in the FTC’s first case against developers of “stalking” apps that monitor consumers’ mobile devices and allegedly compromise consumer privacy in violation of the FTC’s Act prohibition against unfair and deceptive practices and COPPA.
  • A global settlement of up to $700 million issued in conjunction with the CFPB, 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to resolve federal and state investigations into a 2017 data breach that reportedly compromised sensitive information for approximately 147 million consumers. (Covered by InfoBytes here.)

The report also discusses the FTC’s enforcement of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, provides links to FTC congressional testimony on privacy and data security, and offers a list of relevant rulemaking, including rules currently under review. In addition, the report highlights recent privacy-related events, including (i) an FTC hearing examining consumer privacy as part of its Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century; (ii) the fourth annual PrivacyCon event, which hosted research presentations on consumer privacy and security issues (covered by InfoBytes here); (iii) a workshop examining possible updates to COPPA; and (iv) a public workshop that examined issues affecting consumer reporting accuracy.

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