Category Archives: Federal Trade Commission

FTC, partners attack the root of robocall schemes

“You don’t need much agricultural expertise to know that every weed is supported by an extensive underground root structure.” What an A+ quote from the Federal Trade Commission’s business blog (Lesley Fair), which gives a visual description of the government’s latest effort to combat pervasive robocalls, this time tackling robocalls’ root structure: third-party lead generators. […]

FTC seeks comment on collaboration with state attorneys general

The Federal Trade Commission is seeking public comments and suggestions on ways it can work more effectively with state attorneys general nationwide to help educate consumers about, and protect them from, potential fraud. The request for public information (RFI) announced today comes at the direction of the FTC Collaboration Act of 2021, which President Biden signed […]

FTC finally updates “endorsement” guidelines

A lot has changed in social media since 2009 (remember when Twitter was good?), but, while “influencers” continue to use social media platforms to sell products and services (often while pretending they are actual product users as opposed to paid salespeople), the FTC had not updated its “endorsement” guidelines since then. Last week, the agency […]

President to nominate Melissa Holyoak and Andrew Ferguson to be FTC commissioners

Here. According to Bloomberg,”Holyoak is currently solicitor general with the Utah Attorney General’s Office; Ferguson, a former aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, is Virginia’s solicitor general.” The FTC is currently operating with only three of its five commissioners, all Democrats. It is not permitted to have more than three commissioners from the same […]

If the Chamber of Commerce’s claim that discrimination isn’t unfair is correct, why does Student for Fair Admissions have “fair” in its name?

I am working on an article about the CFPB’s determination that discrimination is unfair, a claim that the Chamber of Commerce and banking trade groups are challenging in litigation. Consequently, I am collecting examples in which people used the word “fair” to mean “without discrimination,” or conversely, “unfair” to convey discriminatory conduct. A prominent example […]

FTC sues Amazon over Prime enrollment and cancellation practices

The Federal Trade Commission sued Amazon.com today for allegedly enrolling consumers in Amazon Prime without their consent and knowingly making it difficult for consumers to cancel their Prime subscriptions. The complaint charges that Amazon used manipulative, coercive, or deceptive user-interface designs known as “dark patterns” to trick consumers into enrolling in automatically-renewing Prime subscriptions. The […]

FTC refunds to consumers drop post-SCOTUS decision

The Federal Trade Commission reported this week on the refunds returned to harmed consumers in 2022 from its cases against bad actors that cheated, deceived, defrauded people out of their money. The agency’s press release also contained a sober message: refunds to consumers are dropping due to AMG Capital Management, LLC v. FTC, a 2021 […]

Amazon, DOJ, and FTC agree to settle claims regarding Alexa recordings

The FTC has announced the filing and resolution of an action against Amazon, arising out of claims that the company wrongfully retained voice recordings and geolocation information of Alexa users, allowed Amazon employees to access voice information, failed to delete children’s information at the request of parents, and retained children’s personal information longer than necessary. […]

Can we call it “Opaque Patterns” instead of “Dark Patterns”?

The phrase “dark patterns” was invented by Harry Brignull and has been defined by the FTC as ““practices that trick or manipulate users into making choices they would not otherwise have made and that may cause harm.” Examples include web sites that makes it easy to purchase an ongoing service but that make it harder […]

No preemption here. FTC backs state-law privacy protections for children

In an amicus brief filed this week, the Federal Trade Commission once again stood up for children’s privacy protections under state law that are consistent with federal law and its regulations. The case, Jones v. Google, involved a group of children who, through their guardians ad litem, sued online video platform YouTube and its owner […]