FTC Settles Privacy Shield Complaints
The Federal Trade Commission announced that it reached settlement agreements with five companies over allegations that they falsely claimed certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which establishes a process to allow companies to transfer consumer data from European Union countries to the United States in compliance with EU law. In separate actions, the FTC alleged that management software provider DCR Workforce, Inc.; cloud-based file transfer software provider Thru, Inc.; LotaData, Inc., which provides analysis of mobile users’ data; and facial recognition software provider 214 Technologies, Inc., and statistical analysis and support services provider EmpiriStat, Inc., all falsely claimed in statements on their websites that they were certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. The FTC alleges that LotaData, Inc. also falsely claimed that it was a certified participant in the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which establishes a data transfer process similar to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.
“These companies made false claims about complying with Privacy Shield, and today’s settlements show that the FTC is protecting Privacy Shield’s integrity and supporting the thousands of U.S businesses who do it right,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
As part of the proposed settlements with the FTC, all five companies are prohibited from misrepresenting the extent to which they participate in any privacy or data security program sponsored by the government or any self-regulatory or standard-setting organization and must comply with FTC reporting requirements. In addition, EmpiriStat must also continue to apply the Privacy Shield protections to personal information it collected while participating in the program, or return or delete the information. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement packages in the Federal Register soon. The agreements will be subject to public comment for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent orders final.
The Regulatory Mix Today: FTC Settles Privacy Shield Complaints, FCC Releases Voice Telephone Services Status Report
FCC Releases Voice Telephone Services Status Report
The FCC’s Industry Analysis Division Office of Economics and Analytics released their report “Voice Telephone Services: Status as of December 31, 2017.” For this report, the Commission has used FCC Form 477 to collect subscribership information from providers of voice telephone services - the incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), and mobile voice providers – since December 1999. The Commission has required interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“interconnected VoIP”) service providers to report subscribership information since December 2008. Also, starting with the data reported for 2014, Form 477 has been modified to distinguish “over-the-top” (colloquially, “bring your own broadband”) interconnected VoIP subscriptions from other interconnected VoIP subscriptions.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.