The FTC had an active week and addressed numerous topics, including ways to protect older adults and gig economy workers. Notably, the FTC released a report showing the rise in sophisticated dark pattern practices and the Commission’s commitment to combatting them. The Commission also announced a proposed rule targeting government and business impersonation scams. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (September 12–16, 2022)

A new draft report to Congress by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on behalf of the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee cites textiles and the fashion industry as the leading sources of microfiber pollution in the environment. While the draft report acknowledges uncertainty about how microfiber pollution impacts the environment and human health, the report’s authors recommend that the textile and fashion industry—along with manufacturers of clothes washers and dryers and personal care products—design their products to prevent microfibers from being released into the environment.

The draft report was required to be developed pursuant to the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, enacted in 2020 on a bipartisan basis to address problems associated with marine debris and plastics in the ocean. It has been made available for public comment, which closes October 17, 2022.

Continue Reading New Federal Report on Microfiber Pollution Spotlights Textile and Fashion Industries

The FTC had a lighter week following Labor Day as the Commission hosted a public forum on its proposed rulemaking on commercial surveillance and lax data security practices. A D.C. federal court judge handed the FTC a victory when it denied a request from Facebook to turn over the FTC’s analysis of Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. The Commission ended the week by announcing its agenda for an open commission meeting scheduled for September 15. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (September 5-9, 2022)

The FTC has been aggressive wrapping up the fiscal year before the Labor Day weekend—it initiated several actions across various industries, protecting consumers from sensitive data leak to deceptive “pre-approved” credit offers. The Commission also issued its E-Cigarette Report for 2019-2020, which highlights dramatic surge in sale of flavored disposable e-cigarettes and menthol e-cigarette cartridges. Last but not the least, the FTC is sending checks totaling more than $1.9 million to consumers who bought Hubble brand contact lenses from Vision Path, Inc. This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 29-September 2, 2022)

On August 24, 2022, the California Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement with Sephora, Inc. (Sephora), a French multinational personal care and beauty products retailer. The settlement resolved Sephora’s alleged violations of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for allegedly failing to: disclose to consumers that the company was selling their personal information, process user requests to opt out of sale via user-enabled global privacy controls, and cure these violations within the 30-day period currently allowed by the CCPA.

Continue Reading $1.2 Million CCPA Settlement with Sephora Focuses on Sale of Personal Information and Global Privacy Controls

New parents have their hands full. Baby bouncy seats and swings offer busy caregivers a way to put an infant down but still allow him or her to see and interact with the surrounding environment. But recent recalls have led parents to think twice before going hands free.

On August 15, 2022, 4moms and the CPSC announced a recall of more than two million 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swings (versions 1.0  – 4.0) and over 220,000 RockaRoo Baby Rockers sold in the U.S. and Canada. According to the announcement, the restraint straps on the 4moms MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rocker can dangle below the seat when the product is not in use, posing a strangulation hazard to crawling infants. On August 29, 2022, residents from North Carolina and South Carolina sued Thorley Industries, LLC (d/b/a 4moms) on behalf of nationwide class of purchasers of the recalled products in federal court in Pennsylvania.

Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows 4moms Recall of MamaRoo Baby Swing and RockaRoo Baby Rockers

With the end of the fiscal year approaching, the FTC has been busy issuing multiple reports, plans, and resolutions related to its various powers and obligations, including a report to Congress on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”). This story and more after the jump. 

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 22-26, 2022)

In the recent article, “Facebook and Google settled biometrics lawsuits. Look for more.” featured in Crain’s Chicago Business, Partner Jason Stiehl analyzes wider repercussions of Snapchat’s recent settlement after accusations that it used facial recognition technology that collected and stored users’ biometric information without consent. Stiehl explains that he expects more litigation due to Illinois’ law restricting how firms collect and store user data.

Stiehl provides insight on how companies can protect themselves as new technologies emerge, specifically in the retail space. He provides an example of “try-on” cases where people can try on clothing in virtual dressing rooms and technology captures biometric data. He explains, “I think companies are starting to realize that (try-on cases are) a real risk.”

Read more from Crain’s Chicago Business here (subscription required).

Consumer-driven lawsuits that follow product recalls often focus on what the manufacturer knew and when, bringing a host of fraud-based common law and statutory claims. Sometimes lawsuits go a different route, insisting that companies should warn consumers about every possible complication that could result from the products they manufacture, no matter how remote. A new class action against Lyons Magnus, in Catalono v. Lyons Magnus, LLC, No. 7:22-cv-06867 (S.D.N.Y filed Aug. 11, 2022), is one such case.

In July and August, Lyons Magnus voluntarily recalled 90 of its nutritional beverage products due to possible bacterial contamination from Cronobacter sakazakii and Clostridium botulinum, which can cause food poisoning, fever, and/or urinary tract infection, and in very severe cases, respiratory paralysis and death. And on August 11, 2022, a New York resident sued Lyons Magnus on behalf of nationwide and New York classes of purchasers of the recalled products.

Continue Reading Litigation Recall Report: Nationwide Lawsuit Follows Lyons Magnus Recall of Contaminated Products

The FTC released its policy paper and fact sheet urging state legislatures to avoid using Certificate of Public Advantage (“COPA”) laws and instead invited state lawmakers to work collaboratively with competition policy experts to minimize the potentially harmful effects of further hospital consolidation. This follows that Agency’s recent blocking of a number of healthcare provider mergers, emphasizing the Commission’s focus on preventing what it considers anticompetitive hospital mergers. The Agency also announced that it will be sending out checks totaling more than $822,000 to borrowers that lost money to a student loan debt-relief scheme. These stories after the jump.

Continue Reading FTC Updates (August 15-19, 2022)