- Thirteen plaintiffs have filed a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division, for alleged privacy violations by 18 companies that make popular mobile apps. The companies include some high-profile names such as Apple, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Path, Yelp!, Foursquare, Hipster, and Chillingo. The complaint alleges that these companies “have unfortunately made, distributed and sold mobile software applications (‘Apps’) that, once installed on a wireless mobile device, surreptitiously harvest, upload and illegally steal the owner’s address book data without the owner’s knowledge or consent.” The complaint does not specify an exact amount of damages. A copy of the complaint is available here. Opperman v. Path, Inc., et al., Case No. 12-cv-00219 (W.D. Tex.).
- On May 30, 2012, the FTC will host a day-long, public “Dot Com Disclosures Workshop” addressing the need for new guidance for advertisers on appropriate disclosures for the online and mobile environment. The Workshop will concentrate on technological advancements and marketing developments that have emerged since the FTC first issued its online advertising disclosure guidelines known as “Dot Com Disclosures”. Revisions will be consistent with the goals of the original guidelines, and will continue to emphasize that general consumer protection laws apply equally to online and mobile marketers. More information on the Workshop is available here.
Prior to the Workshop, the FTC is seeking suggestions for topics of discussion or original research regarding online and mobile media disclosure issues. In particular, the FTC invites parties to submit realistic examples and mock-ups that can be used for illustration and discussion. Parties may also submit requests to participate as panelists and recommend topics for the agenda. Interested parties should submit suggestions, examples, and/or requests to participate no later than March 30, 2012. Instructions for making submissions are available here.