Recent Posts

Big COPPA problems for TinyCo

Fans of Tiny Pets, Tiny Zoo, Tiny Village, Tiny Monsters, and Mermaid Resort will be relieved to know that adorable Sully the Dog and arch-nemesis Duke Spendington haven’t been named in their individual capacities. But the developer of those kid-directed apps – San-Francisco-based TinyCo, Inc. – just settled an FTC lawsuit alleging the company violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

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FTC case against Yelp shows that COPPA isn’t just for kids’ sites

This is a post about the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.  Some readers already have a finger poised over the DELETE button since their business isn’t child-related.  But as the FTC’s settlement with Yelp suggests, that would be a mistake.

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Today’s the day for Big Data

Big Data is a big deal for businesses, consumers, academics, and policymakers.  There's no doubt it opens the door to more powerful analytical techniques that can advance medical research, education, transportation, etc.  But some have voiced concerns about whether it may be used to categorize consumers in ways that may affect them unfairly, or even unlawfully.  That's the topic on the table at an FTC workshop, Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?, and it&

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(En)force to be reckoned with

Companies that sign settlements with the FTC need to know that those documents contain consumer protection provisions enforceable in court.  That’s the message of a motion for contempt just filed against Bayer Corporation by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, with the assistance of the FTC.

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“High School Skinny” claims are thin on proof

“Get High School Skinny!”  That was one pitch Georgia-based HealthyLife Sciences made for its Healthe Trim line of diet products.  The company’s radio ads, TV commercials, and website promised it all.  Just a couple of capsules in the morning would burn fat, boost metabolism, and suppress the appetite, leading to the fast and easy loss of as much as 19 pounds the first week.  But according to a proposed FTC settlement, the real r

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