As we head toward 2020, expect significant public debate relating to smartphone applications designed to increase turnout and participation in upcoming elections. The Democratic Party has dipped its toe in the water, announcing in July plans to allow telephone voting in lieu of appearing for neighborhood caucus meetings in the key early primary states of

Last week, two Senators, Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts and Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding apps designed for children and whether they are in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), See 15 U.S.C. 6501 and regulations at 16 C.F.R. Part 312 et. seq.  The Senators stated that they are concerned that thousands of apps may “improperly track children and collect their personal information.” The Senators requested a response from the FTC by October 31. The letter also asked that the FTC “investigate whether these apps, and the advertising companies they work with, are in fact tracking children with persistent identifiers and collecting their personal information in violation of COPPA…”
Continue Reading Protecting the Privacy of Children Online – More Updates on COPPA

Admittedly, parents of teens have unique worries about their children. So-called “helicopter parents” worry more than others. A perfect app for such parents is Teen Safe, which allows those worried parents to monitor their children’s location, text messages, call history, app downloads and browsing history. Yikes—the only monitor I ever had with my kids was

On March 23, 2017, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced settlements with three mobile health application (app) development companies aimed at curbing deceptive marketing practices and inadequate privacy disclosures to consumers. The settlements – reached with Cardiio, Inc., Matis Ltd., and Runtastic GmbH, respectively – target health measurement apps that “purport to measure vital signs or other indicators of health using only a smartphone’s camera and sensors, without any need for an external device.”

The Office of Attorney General (OAG) expressed concern that growing consumer reliance on health-related apps “can be harmful” if the apps provide inaccurate or misleading results because they could cause consumers to potentially forgo necessary medical treatment, or conversely incur unnecessary treatment, in reliance on false assurances of health provided by such apps. In the settlements the OAG highlighted apparent issues it had identified with each of the developers’ apps, including:
Continue Reading NY AG Announces Settlements with Three Mobile-Health App Developers Over Privacy, Marketing Concerns

LAI Systems, LLC (LAI) and Retro Dreamer agreed to pay civil penalties of a combined $360,000 to settle charges issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) by allowing advertising companies to use persistent identifiers, collected through their mobile apps, to elicit specific advertisements to children.