Wednesday, March 25, 2015

FTC Expands to Include Dedicated Office of Technology and Research


The FTC is starting up a new research sector in a recently formed Office of Technology Research and Investigation (OTRI). The office's goal will be to expand the FTC's capacity to protect consumers in an age of rapid technological innovation. The FTC has always been on the forefront of new technology, several years ago it created a Mobil Technology Unit (MTU) to protect consumers engaged in mobile commerce. However, as technology continues to morph and evolve, it was clear that an expanded effort was needed. The OTRI will be the MTU's successor. And the FTC is hiring, so if you love all things tech, this may be your time to shine! To see more about the expanded effort as well as the positions the FTC has created, visit the FTC's blog.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Privacy Implications as App Use Becomes Widespread in Schools


As app use in our educational institutions is becoming more and more widespread, certain privacy concerns are raised with regards to what information they may be collecting from children. New apps are being created at such a staggering rate that schools are having a difficult time finding the time and resources to properly review them all before teachers are utilizing such digital learning tools. There are a host of concerns as educational institutions scramble to keep up with these novel learning products. 

Check out this New York Times article to learn more about school oversight and privacy risks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Legal Implications of YouTube App for Kids by Google



On February 23, 2015, Google released a child-appropriate version of YouTube for kids. The new child-appropriate platform offers parents an environment for their young ones free from targeted ads and the collection of any personal information--for now at least. Industry experts are still worried about what privacy and blurring issues the site may raise.

The new children's version of YouTube will of course have to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), and one can be certain that the Federal Trade Commission will be taking a gander at Google's entry into the children's media market.

To read more about the launch of YouTube for kids and the legal concerns, read this article in Law 360 that mentions CARU's role in children's privacy as well as blurring issues.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Recent CARU Inquiry with Dave and Buster's Picked Up by CBS News


The Children's Advertising Review Unit evaluates claims made in children's advertising for both truth and accuracy. In a recent investigation into marketing practices by Dave and Buster's, CARU found that the commercial-at-issue was misleading to children. At issue was a commercial in which Dave & Buster's made the offer

Just tell us 'kids rule' and you can play video games for free until 3pm'

Under the terms of the offer, which were not made clear up front, this so-called "free play" came with many strings attached. To read the entire press release, click here.

CARU's inquiry with Dave and Buster's was in the news. CBS News reported that Dave and Buster's was scolded for false advertising to children. Check out the full article for details about what CBS reporters had to say.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Come Learn Successful Strategies for Social Media with CARU at New York's Social Media Week


Social Media Week is a leading conference worldwide that curates some of the best ideas and insights into how social media and technology are constantly evolving and affecting change in business and society on a global scale. Social Media Week is being held this year in New York from February 23-27th and the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council (ASRC) is getting in on the action.

Now in its seventh year, Social Media Week will welcome over 10,000 attendees from New York's top companies. This week-long conference will provide engaging as well as educational content on a range of topics spanning many industries from advertising to technology. Events will be held at various locations throughout the city. To check out the events you can click here.

The Advertising Self-Regulatory Council will be hosting a FREE event at the IAB Ad Lab (116 E. 27th Street, 8th Floor, NY. NY) on Tuesday February 24, 2015 from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. Panelists will discuss the content marketing revolution and successful strategies for avoiding costly mistakes.

Panelists include Laura Brett, Staff Attorney from the National Advertising Division, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Leanne Gabinelli, Staff Attorney Electronic Retailing Self-Regulation Program, Katie Goldstein, Senior Staff Attorney, Children's Advertising Review Unit of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, and Todd Ruback, Chief Privacy Officer at Ghostery. The panel will be moderated by David Mallen, Co-Chair, Advertising Disputes, Loeb & Loeb LLP.

Transparency is key to building trust in the social and mobile advertising space. Hear about regulatory and self-regulatory guidance that can help you avoid pitfalls and build trust with your customers when interacting with them in the digital marketplace.

To register, please click HERE to register online for free.

CARU's sister program The Online-Interest Based Advertising Accountability Program will be speaking at another panel at the IAB Ad Lab the same day at 1:30 PM- 3:00 PM. Genie Barton, Vice President and Director, Online Behavioral Advertising Program and Mobile Marketing Initiatives, Todd Ruback, CPO at Ghostery and Rob Sherman, Deputy Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook will be discussing going social with privacy and much more. To read more about this panel and register for free, click HERE.

Friday, January 30, 2015

FTC Rejects Proposed Verifiable Parental Consent Mechanism


On January 27th, 2015 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) informed AgeCheq Inc. that its proposed verifiable parental consent mechanism under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) did not comply with the Rule. The FTC stated in its letter that the it is:
Not COPPA compliant and is not reasonably calculated, in light of available technology, to ensure that the person providing consent is the child’s parent. 
For further details, visit the FTC Website and read its entire letter to AgeCheq Inc. here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How COPPA Applies in the School Setting: What You Need to Know


The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA as it is affectionately referred, requires entities covered by the law to notify parents and get their approval before they collect, use, or disclose personal information from children. COPPA has many grey areas and after its most recent revision, many companies have been scrambling to make sure that they are coloring between the lines. 

One question that is often raised is how does COPPA apply to the schools? Lesley Fair from the FTC wrote a recent blog post trying to help folks get some insight to where the FTC lands on this issue. She states simply, 

"Schools – which are usually part of the local government – don’t fall within the legal definition of who’s covered by COPPA because they aren’t commercial “operators.” That said, schools sometimes allow, or even require, students to use sites and services that are covered by COPPA and which must provide notice and get verifiable parental consent."

It seems as though, based on COPPA's statement of purpose, according to Fair, that COPPA has carved out an exception in COPPA where it allows the schools to act as intermediaries for parents in the educational setting. This ability to give consent on the parent's behalf is limited though, naturally, to the educational context--in other words, this privilege does not extend to commercial use. Schools of course remain responsible for protecting students' privacy, which we think makes sense.

Visit the FTC's website to learn more about COPPA in Schools