On February 12, 2020, the FTC announced its intention to review its Endorsement Guides (formally known as the “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”). These guides, first enacted in 1980 and revised in 2009, provide guidance to businesses, influencers and endorsers on how to make sure endorsements or testimonials abide by the requirements of the FTC Act. While advisory in nature, the Commission can take action under the FTC Act if an endorsement or testimonial is inconsistent with the Guides.
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On February 3, 2020, the FTC announced a $350,000 settlement with Shop Tutors Inc., d/b/a LendEDU, a website that ranks and rates consumer financial products such as student and personal loans. The FTC’s complaint alleged that LendEDU and its principals violated the FTC Act by misleading consumers into believing that their website offered consumers “objective,” “accurate” and “unbiased” information, despite the fact that the company was alleged to be selling rankings and ratings to the highest bidder.
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On January 7, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Mortgage Solutions FCS, Inc., d/b/a Mount Diablo Lending, and its sole principal, Ramon Walker, to resolve allegations that the lender violated the FTC Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Act, by improperly disseminating consumers’ personal information on Yelp in response to consumers’ negative reviews posted to that site.
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On August 7, 2017, the FTC announced that it obtained a court order temporarily halting an online marketing scheme that deceptively lured shoppers into expensive negative option plans. The FTC alleged that defendants used initial low-cost trial offers to hook consumers into expensive monthly shipments without properly disclosing the terms and conditions of the deal or properly obtaining their consent.
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On May 12, 2017, a massive ransomware attack, known as “WannaCry,” began affecting tens of thousands of computer systems in over 100 countries. These types of incidents can have significant legal implications for affected entities and industries for whom data access and continuity is critical. As affected entities work to understand and respond to the threat of ransomware, we address some of the key legal considerations.
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