The Federal Election Commission recently held a public hearing to discuss its March 2018 proposed rule aimed at providing voters with more information about who pays for or sponsors online political advertisements. The private sector has adopted a solution to the issue.

On May 22, 2018, the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) took the first step to alter the status quo by unveiling a new, industry-wide PoliticalAds transparency initiative designed to bring greater transparency and accountability to the realm of political advertising.

Similar to the DAA’s YourAdChoice program, which provides consumers with easily accessible information via the familiar blue triangle that accompanies interest-based ads, the PoliticalAds initiative will require certain political advertisements to supply information and a comparable purple icon.

Political Ad Icon

Continue Reading Transparency Coming to a Campaign Ad Near You!

As of January 1, 2014, California law requires operators of websites and online services to publicly disclose how they respond to “do not track” (dnt) signals, though the exact requirements vary depending on whether an entity is a first party (e.g., web publisher) or third party (e.g., ad network). The new law will not require companies to honor dnt signals.

Operators of websites and online services should be prepared to update their privacy policies.

Background

On September 27, 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law AB 370, an amendment to the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CALOPPA). CALOPPA requires online operators to post privacy policies stating: (1) the categories of personally identifiable information (PII) collected through their website or online service, (2) the categories of third parties with whom the operator may share PII, (3) the process by which a consumer may review and request changes to PII collected through the site or service if such a process is maintained, (4) a description of how operators notify consumers of material changes to the privacy policy, and (5) the effective date of the privacy policy. AB 370 will not change these requirements or the meaning of PII, but adds additional disclosure obligations described in the next section.
Continue Reading California’s Do Not Track Disclosure Bill

As we noted yesterday, it’s not necessarily a given that an allegedly misleading advertising claim leads inexorably to a viable class action lawsuit (most likely venued in California.).  Here’s one such recent example as to why.

In the federal District Court in Los Angeles this past month, Chipotle Mexican Grill successfully defeated a class action plaintiff’s motion for class certification.

Chipotle advertises that its products contain “Naturally Raised” meats, meaning “coming from animals that are fed a pure vegetarian diet, never given antibiotics or hormones, and raised humanely.” And its products generally do. Occasionally, however, some Chipotle restaurants run out of their supply of such meats and substitute conventional meats. When this has occurred, those Chipotle locations have posted signs at the point-of-purchase, alerting their patrons of that fact.
Continue Reading Chipotle Case Gives Hope Against Class Actions

Yesterday, the FTC convened a day-long public workshop to discuss updating its “Dot Com Disclosures” guidance on presenting online advertising disclosures. The FTC is considering whether it should overhaul this guidance, which dates to 2000, to address current trends such as social media and mobile advertising. The workshop also included a panel devoted to mobile

Last week the FTC hosted “Paper, Plastic … or Mobile? An FTC Workshop on Mobile Payments,” to examine the use of mobile payments in the marketplace and how emerging technologies affect consumers. The workshop lasted throughout the day, consisting of presentations and panels with representatives from business, law, finance, and consumer advocacy organizations. At the

The Federal Trade Commission (“Commission” or “FTC”) released the much-anticipated final version of its report entitled “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change” (“Final Report”), which sets forth legislative recommendations for policymakers concerning privacy and data security and best practices for business for addressing online and offline privacy concerns.  While not