The Latest News From...

The Latest News From...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Social Media Week Hits New York This February

Social Media Week begins February 17-21st 2014 in New York City. Industry experts will descend on Manhattan to discuss how new technologies and media platforms are shaping our lives and the marketing world. This year's schedule offers tons of events and ways to network, collaborate and learn from big brands and professionals. 
Sign up quickly because many events are already filling up--including a panel CARU will be speaking on, "Advertising and Legal Issues in Social Media: How to Get it Right." The panel will address practical implications of utilizing social media and advertising in the self-regulatory world.  Click HERE for more information about this panel. 
This year’s notable speakers include Buzzcar’s Robin Chase, Founder of Zipcar; Steve Case, Founder & CEO of Revolution and Founder of the Case Foundation; John Borthwick, CEO of betaworks; Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy; Scott Heiferman, CEO of Meetup; Cindy Gallop, Founder of MakeLoveNotPorn; Jonah Peretti, Founder of & CEO of BuzzFeed; Nancy Lublin, CEO of Do Something; Douglas Rushkoff, author of “Present Shock”; Harper Reed, CEO, Lunar Technology Corporation and many more.

Keep up with Social Media Week on Twitter @SocialMediaWeek. For more information and to learn about all the events, click HERE

FTC Settles with Companies Falsely Purporting to Comply with Safe Harbor

Last week, twelve companies, representing several industries, ranging from retail to professional sports, were charged with falsely representing that they held current European Safe Harbor certifications when they had actually allowed these certifications to lapse. Several of the companies handled sensitive consumer data. The Federal Trade Commission held that such misconduct violated Section 5 of the FTC Act. This case signals to companies that they cannot claim participation in any program without consequences and also ensures the integrity of Safe Harbors. 
Visit the FTC Website for more information.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Facebook Provides Useful Information for Child-Directed Sites and Services

If you run a child-directed website or service you’ve probably been feeling a bit overwhelmed lately with all the changes to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). Hopefully at this point you are aware that you are responsible for information collected from any social plugins you host on your website. Determining whether your plugins though are doing so is not as easy as it may sound. Facebook created a checklist for child-directed sites and services to give you advice on whether you comply with Facebook’s Platform policies and COPPA. Find out the precise code you should and should not be be using on your site with regards to Facebook’s plugins.

Learn more on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Apple Will Refund at Least $32.5 Million in FTC Settlement

Apple has agreed to pay at least $32.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint that it charged consumers for in-app purchases incurred by children on kids’ mobile apps without verifiable parental consent.  Apple has also agreed to change its billing practices by March 31, 2014 to ensure that it receives “informed” verifiable parental consent before charging for in-app purchases made on mobile apps directed to children. Apple also agreed that if it gets consumers’ consent for future charges, consumers must have the option to withdraw their consent at any time.

Under the current system on iTunes, parents were required to enter a password to process in-app purchases, however, according to the FTC, Apple failed to notify parents that by doing so, in addition to approving a single in-app purchase that they were also consenting to 15 minutes of additional unlimited purchases their children could make without further action from the parent.

In its press release, the FTC noted that Apple has received thousands of complaints about unauthorized purchases. FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement, “This settlement is a victory for consumers harmed by Apple’s unfair billing, and a signal to the business community: whether you’re doing business in the mobile arena or the mall down the street, fundamental consumer protections apply, you cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize.” 

Under the settlement, Apple must pay at least $32.5 Million to consumers billed for in-app purchases incurred by children that were accidental or unauthorized. Should Apple be required to issue less than the full $32.5 million, it must forfeit the balance to the FTC.

For more information visit the FTC's Press Release.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The FTC Approves New Method to Verify Parental Consent

Imperium®, already an industry heavyweight when it comes to identity verification, received approval on December 23, 2013 from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its knowledge-based authentication mechanism, which can be used to obtain verifiable parental consent for children.  The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule requires operators of websites or online services directed to kids under 13 to provide notice and obtain verifiable parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing personal information from children.

In addition to the methods COPPA lays out in the rule, it also includes a provision allowing companies to submit new verifiable parental consent methods for approval from the FTC. This gives the rule some flexibility so the industry has a chance to create mechanisms that work for them. .
Knowledge-based identification allows verification of a user’s identity by asking a series of questions that rely on “out-of-wallet” information. “Out-of-wallet” information is information that is difficult for someone other than the individual to answer--in other words, facts that cannot be determined by looking in an individual’s wallet.

The FTC approved Imperium’s® knowledge-based authentication as an acceptable method of obtaining parental consent as long as it uses dynamic, multiple-choice questions that include enough options to ensure that the chances of a child guessing the correct answer is low. Imperium® provided a couple of examples of knowledge-based authentication questions in its application like asking about old phone numbers, addresses, etc. Knowledge-based authentication has been used by financial and credit institutions for years, as the FTC noted in its approval letter.

To read the FTC’s press release about Imperium® click here