The Center for Digital Democracy’s mission is to serve as a watchdog to research and report on digital privacy, consumer online security and protection, and online marketing practices, and to work to promote consumer protection policies. As part of this work we carefully watch important industry practices and developments which we highlight in our Industry Watch, produce blog posts which we publish under our Blog, submit legal filings as part of federal, state or local law suits or legal and regulatory proceedings which you can read about in our CDD Filingsand publish news releases which are available under Press Releases.

  • USPIRG & CDD urge Regulatory Safeguards for Online Lending Industry

    By: Jeff Chester | Sep 30 2015

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S Public Interest Research Group (USPIRG) filed comments today in response to the Treasury Department’s request for information (RFI) on “Expanding Access to Credit through Online Marketplace Lending.” Specifically, the department sought public comment on (1) the various business models of and products offered by online marketplace lenders to small businesses and consumers; (2) the potential for online marketplace lending to expand access to credit to historically underserved market segments; and (3) how the financial regulatory framework sho

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  • CDD petitions FTC to release COPPA Safe Harbor reports to the public

    By: Staff | Jul 14 2015

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), through its counsel, requests the following documents under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, related to enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), 15 U.S.C. § 6501 et seq.

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  • Privacy and Consumer Advocates Leave Administration’s “Multistakeholder” Negotiations on Facial Recognition

    By: Jeff Chester | Jun 16 2015

    Today, the groups participating in the Obama Administration’s so-called multi-stakeholder negotiations to develop a self-regulatory “code of conduct” on facial recognition and privacy sent a letter (attached) to the Commerce Department explaining why they would no longer participate in the process. As CDD has said from the start, the approach the Administration embraced to protect consumers’ rights to their personal information was flawed.

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  • CDD asks Court to Require FTC Make Public Information on “Safe Harbor” Programs for COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act)

    By: Staff | May 26 2015

    The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), in its ongoing efforts to monitor the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia challenging the FTC’s refusal to release important COPPA documentation. The case involves seven “safe harbor” programs, such as KidSAFE and TRUSTe, approved by the FTC to handle website compliance with COPPA regulations.

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  • Watch "Looking Inside The Black Box Society"

    By: Alyce Myatt | May 6 2015

    Digital Data and Consumer Protection: Ensuring a Fair and Equitable Financial Marketplace.

    Author and Professor Frank Pasquale discusses his new book "The Black Box Society," on the growing use of secret algorithms to categorize consumers.

    A Project of US PIRG Education Fund & Center for Digital Democracy

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  • CDD urges Consumer Regulators at ICPEN 2015 to tackle Data Driven Digital Marketing

    By: Alyce Myatt | Apr 22 2015

    CDD's executive director Jeff Chester called on regulators representing dozens of nations to address the role that today's data collection complex plays in consumer transactions and services.  Speaking at the 2015 annual meeting of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), Chester said that in order to protect consumes today's regulatory agencies--such as the FTC--must understand how data issues are integrally a part of consumer services, including in the financial, health, and retail marketplace.  A modified version of the presentation is attached, minus the vi

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  • Child and Consumer Advocates Urge Federal Trade Commission to Investigate and Bring Action Against Google for Excessive and Deceptive Advertising Directed at Children

    By: Jeff Chester | Apr 7 2015

    Washington, DC – Tuesday, April 7 – A coalition of prominent children’s and consumer advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today requesting an investigation of Google, charging the company with unfair and deceptive practices in connection with its new YouTube Kids app.

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  • Obama Administration Consumer Privacy Bill Fails to Protect Consumers, Gives Greater Control of our Information to Data Companies

    By: Jeff Chester | Feb 27 2015

    Three years ago, President Obama promised that his administration would deliver a “Privacy Bill of Rights” to protect American consumers.
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  • Big Data Gets Bigger: Consumer and Privacy Groups Call on FTC to Play Greater Role in Data Mergers/ Investigation and Public Workshop Needed

    By: Jeff Chester | Feb 6 2015

     Washington, DC: The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), along with U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, and Public Citizen, called on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an investigation into the impact on the American public of growing consolidation in consumer offline and online data sources and digital marketing applications. The groups also asked for the FTC to hold a public workshop focused on ensuring Americans receive 21st century safeguards protecting their privacy in online transactions, and a truly competitive marketplace.

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  • FTC Agrees with CDD, Rejects AgeCheq COPPA Scheme

    By: Jeff Chester | Jan 3 2015

    In December, CDD urged the FTC to reject the verifiable parental consent mechanism for COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protect Act) proposed by AgeCheq.  The comments are attached.  Ensuring meaningful parental consent so their child's data can be gathered and used requires a robust and effective system.  Parents need to understand precisely what data is collected and by what means; how it is to be used--now and in the future--as well as the business models and online marketing practices that can affect them.  CDD and its attorneys at Georgetown Law Center found a range of problems with Ag

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