Consumer lawsuits under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) have surged following a 2015 declaratory order from the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”), which included an expansive interpretation from the FCC of what constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS”). The D.C. Circuit’s much-awaited decision in ACA International v. Federal Communications Commission, 885 F.3d 687 (D.C. Cir. 2018) earlier this year set aside much of the FCC’s prior interpretation of what qualifies as an ATDS. ACA International was widely seen as a win for businesses and advertisers, but the decision has done little thus far to stem the tide of TCPA lawsuits, especially as the scope of the decision continues to play out. Continue Reading Businesses Yet to See Major Relief from TCPA Lawsuits Following ACA International Decision

In an article published in Internet Retailer on January 11, 2018, Hunton & Williams LLP’s Insurance lawyers Syed Ahmad, Lorelie (Lorie) Masters and Katie Miller discuss the risks retailers face when using smartphone-reliant technology and contactless payment systems, including ransomware attacks and other security breaches, and the insurance coverage necessary to address these potential risks.

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As retailers continue to look for new and innovative ways to maintain communication and “touch points” with their customers, many are looking to technology-infused or “smart” packaging and advertising materials. There are many ways to drive customer interaction and web traffic through smart packaging and advertising materials, including through the use of hyperlinks, quick response (“QR”) codes and near field communication (“NFC”) chips.  Continue Reading NFC Chips: The Simplest Form of Smart Packaging

On April 6, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission formally welcomed the updated Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-commerce (the “Recommendation”) issued by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (“OECD”) on March 24, 2016, endorsing the Recommendation’s broadened scope and increased consumer protections that “are designed to strengthen consumers’ trust in the expanding electronic marketplace.” Continue Reading FTC Releases OECD’s Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-Commerce

On April 23, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Nomi Technologies (Nomi) has agreed to settle charges stemming from allegations that the company misled consumers with respect to opting out of the company’s mobile-device tracking service at retail locations. The settlement marks the FTC’s first § 5 enforcement action against a retail tracking company.

Continue Reading FTC Reaches Settlement in First Enforcement Action Against a Retail Tracking Company

As reported on the Privacy & Information Security Law blog, the Federal Communications Commission announced a $25 million settlement with AT&T Services, Inc. (“AT&T”) stemming from allegations that AT&T failed to protect the confidentiality of consumers’ personal information, resulting in data breaches at AT&T call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines. The breaches, which took place over 168 days from November 2013 to April 2014, involved unauthorized access to customers’ names, full or partial Social Security numbers and certain protected account-related data, affecting almost 280,000 U.S. customers.

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As reported in the Privacy & Information Security Law blog, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement of at least $90 million with mobile phone carrier T-Mobile USA, Inc. (“T-Mobile”) stemming from allegations related to mobile cramming. This settlement amount will primarily be used to provide refunds to affected customers who were charged by T-Mobile for unauthorized third party charges. As part of the settlement, T-Mobile also will pay $18 million in fines and penalties to the attorneys general of all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and $4.5 million to the Federal Communications Commission.

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Most marketers and retailers know that the consumer protection laws require that their advertising claims be substantiated, truthful and not misleading. But the new year is a good time to take stock of advertising campaigns, practices and procedures to make sure they pass muster under the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) latest guidance. The FTC’s recent enforcement actions provide a starting point.

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