• On December 10, 2012, the Federal Trade Commission issued a new staff report titled “Mobile Apps for Kids: Disclosures Still Not Making the Grade.” The staff report is a follow-up to an earlier survey of mobile apps for children that examined the privacy disclosures and practices of apps offered for children in the Google Play and Apple App stores. The current report details the results of the FTC’s second survey of kids’ mobile apps and finds that developers have made little to no progress in providing adequate privacy disclosures and safeguards since the time of the first survey in 2011. The staff report also states that, based upon the information obtained through the surveys, the FTC is considering initiating non-public investigations into the practices of some mobile app developers for potential violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). More information regarding the staff report is here.
  • As part of its effort to thwart robocalls, the FTC has announced that it is launching the “FTC Robocall Challenge” – a contest that will award a $50,000 cash prize for the best technical solution for blocking illegal robocalls. The FTC believes the challenge will allow it to “tap into the genius and technical expertise among the public” in order to develop a successful solution to the illegal robocall problem. The award will go to the person, team, or small company (with fewer than 10 employees) that develops the best robocall-blocking technology. Entries will be judged by the following criteria: (1) it must work; (2) be easy to use; and (3) be easy to implement and operate. The FTC Robocall Challenge is free and open to the public. Entries will be accepted until January 17, 2013. More information regarding the FTC Robocall Challenge is available here.