FTC Rules Against Diet Pill Seller For Fake Amazon Reviews: In a landmark decision, the FTC ruled against Cure Encapsulations, a diet pill seller, for paying a website to create and post positive reviews about its product on Amazon; the FTC ruling recommended that the company be required to notify prior customers about the claims against it, identify fake reviews, no longer make false claims about the health benefits of its products, and face a largely suspended fine of $12.8 million.
FTC Settles With TikTok Over COPPA Violations: As part of a settlement for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act by knowingly allowing children to use the app without parental consent, TikTok (formerly known as Musical.ly) has agreed to pay the FTC $5.7 million, delete profiles of children younger than 13, and no longer allow anyone under 13 to create a profile, upload videos, send messages, or leave comments on the App.
Cuomo Asks N.Y. Agencies To Investigate Facebook: Following reports that Facebook allegedly received users’ private medical information without their knowledge or consent in contravention of its own stated business practices, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would direct two state agencies to investigate Facebook’s data practices; Cuomo also called on federal authorities to investigate the company’s practices.
Information Security & Cyberthreats
Facebook Planned To Collect Android User Data Privately: Previously unpublished documents seized from the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee’s inquiry into the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed a plan by Facebook to use its app on Android to anonymously collect and store users’ location data and couple it with cell site IDs to create“location-aware” products.
Apple Shutters East Texas Stores To Avoid Patent Troll Suits: Apple has begun shutting down its retail stores in the Eastern District of Texas to prevent patent trolls from using Apple’s retail presence there as the basis for arguing that the District is a proper venue for bringing suits against the company; Apple is opening new retail stores just across the border in the Northern District of Texas.
Free Expression and Censorship
Anti-Vaxxers Feel A Prick: YouTube will remove ads from videos that the website says promote anti-vaccination; YouTube’s policies have long characterized such videos as “harmful content” that cannot be monetized, and YouTube claims that the videos slipped past its content filters.
Self-Harm Content Resurfaces on YouTube: YouTube’s child-friendly app “YouTube Kids” was home to a cartoon into which was spliced a video instructing viewers how to commit suicide; though YouTube removed the video from its Kids platform, it later resurfaced on YouTube’s main platform.
Federal Judge Overturns State Cyberstalking Statute: A judge in the Western District of Washington ruled that a provision of the State’s cyberstalking statute prohibiting speech that is intended to “harass, intimidate, torment or embarrass” was “facially overbroad” in violation of the First Amendment.
On The Lighter Side
Year Of The Pig: China’s tech firms are pushing facial and voice recognition technology to “protect” Chinese pigs from a deadly swine disease.
CLIP’s newest paper, Trustworthy Privacy Indicators: Grades, Labels, Certifications and Dashboards, is now available for download on SSRN. The article, which is a product of the Usable Privacy Project, will be published in the Washington University Law Review this summer.
Joel R. Reidenberg
Stanley D. and Nikki Waxberg Chair and Professor of Law
Founding Academic Director, Fordham CLIP
Executive Director, Fordham CLIP
Quinn Nicholas D’Isa
Editorial Fellows, Fordham CLIP