- The FTC entered into a settlement with SnapChat to ensure that it does not misrepresent the extent to which it protects users’ privacy and security. The settlement includes Snapchat agreeing to twenty years of independent audits of their data practices. This case illustrates that apps, ever the darling of the startup, are held to the same standard as websites.
- The FTC got involved when Facebook proposed to acquire WhatsApp. The message to the companies was that if WhatsApp made statements to its users about the protection of their data upon or after an acquisition, those statements must be honored or else risk FTC enforcement actions, and in the case of Facebook, violation of its consent order. Many startups hope to be acquired; data practices must be planned for and stated at the onset accordingly and not forgotten about or dismissed at the negotiation table.