Monday, October 18, 2021

Deceptive or Misleading Conduct & Protecting Older Consumers

  • The FTC issued its latest report to Congress on protecting older consumers, which highlights updated findings from the Commission’s fraud reports showing trends in how older adults report being affected by fraud with the most frequent type of fraud reported by older adults was online shopping scams. The report, Protecting Older Consumers, 2020-2021, also includes information on the FTC’s efforts to protect older consumers through law enforcement actions and outreach and education programs. This year’s report calls particular attention to the Commission’s work to combat scams related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Telecommunications & Privacy and Security

  • The FTC released a staff report identifying data collection practices among several internet service providers (ISPs), including that they combine data across product lines; combine personal, app usage, and web browsing data to target ads; place consumers into sensitive categories such as by race and sexual orientation; and share real-time location data with third-parties. The staff report stems from orders the FTC issued in 2019 using its authority under 6(b) of the FTC Act to six ISPs, which make up about 98 percent of the mobile Internet market.
  • Chair Lina Khan provided remarks regarding the FTC staff report, underscoring three key issues: (1) the report findings underscore deficiencies of the “notice-and-consent” framework for privacy, especially in markets where users face highly limited choices among service providers; (2) the expansion of internet service providers into vertically integrated entities that not only provide internet, voice, and cable services but also produce the content transmitted across these pipes and sell behavioral advertising has enabled these firms to consolidate and aggregate a staggering array of data.; and (3) the individualized and hyper-granular dossiers that internet service providers are collating can enable troubling—and potentially unlawful—forms of discrimination.