Latest in DD

FTC Tells Facebook it will have to honor Whatsapp's privacy promise; EPIC and CDD letters spur commission action

The Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection sent a letter to Facebook and Whatsapp [attached] requiring the companies to honor the latter's privacy promises (no advertising, highly limited data collection etc).  Facebook is in the process of acquiring Whatsapp.  The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and CDD

Groups call on White House to support safeguards on the use of "Big Data" when targeting youth, esp. for unhealthy foods and beverages

Twenty-eight consumer, child advocacy and public health groups submitted this letter today to President Obama's review on "Big Data" team.  Among the groups signing the letter included the African American Colloboraative Obesity Research Network, American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Consumers Union, Children Now, Common Sense Media, CFA, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Momsrising, National Consumers League, Praxis Project and Salud America!

CDD to White House Big Data Review: data collection apparatus leading to a commercial surveillance complex

Today is the deadline for Comments to be filed for the White House's forthcoming report on "Big Data."  NGOs pressed the Administration to include public comments during its 90-day inquiry that is led by Senior WH Counselor John Podesta.  Our comments are attached.  Here's an excerpt:

Behind the Commercial Facial Recognition (FR) Digital Curtain: Privacy & Consumer Protection Safeguards Required as NTIA Stakeholders Address FR

Beginning a more informed discussion on the privacy and consumer protection implications of Facial Recognition Technology:  NTIA Privacy Multi-stakeholder Process:

EPIC & CDD file follow-up Whatsapp complaint at FTC; Urges Commission to listen to users and not repeat past errors in merger approval that failed to protect consumers

EPIC and CDD filed this at the FTC today.  Despite the protestations of Whatsapp's founders, they cannot guarantee that Facebook won't eventually incorporate the rich vein of mobile, location and other data that flows from its services.  If the Whatsapp founders are truly to commited to its user privacy, we ask them to enter into a voluntary 20 year consent decree with the FTC, placing on the record that they will maintain privacy practices without Facebook interference. 

CDD applauds FTC for telling 9th Circuit Facebook was incorrect on COPPA and that teen privacy can be protected by state law/Calif also weighs in

We were pleased to learn that the FTC filed an Amicus brief in the 9th Circuit yesterday to help create the misleading record Facebook created in the so-called "Sponsored Stories" case.  CDD, along with Public Citizens and the Children's Advovacy Institute (U of San Diego) have been closely working together on the case, to support an outcome that provides the privacy safeguards teens require.  Here's what CDD's attorney Hudson Kingston said about the FTC's filing:

CDD files follow-up COPPA complaint on Disney/Marvelkids at FTC/Company needs to do better job on kids privacy and empower parents

Here's a summary from our attorney Eric Null at Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center:

EPIC and CDD file "Unfair and Deceptive" Practices Complaint at FTC on Facebook/WhatsApp Deal: WhatsApp Users Were Promised Privacy/Now they will have Facebook

We urge you to review the attached FTC complaint that was filed today by EPIC and CDD.  The millions of WhatsApp users who signed up for the service were promised--repeatedly as you will read in the complaint--that the company didn't want to gather and commercialize their data.   They posed as the "unFacebook," deriding the commercial surveillance apparatus that lies at the core of contemporary online practices.  Yet at the same time they made their public privacy promises, they were being

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