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Produced by the IAPP Westin Research Center

The FTC Casebook collects and provides access to more than 180 privacy and data security enforcement actions—full-text searchable, tagged, indexed and annotated.


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Recent FTC Privacy News

Senate Committee Explores Internet-of-Things Regulation

(Feb 12, 2015) The Internet of Things (IoT) was front-and-center on Wednesday during a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing that featured testimony from a wide spectrum of witnesses across industry sectors. At issue in the now Republican-controlled Senate committee hearing was whether the IoT and its many benefits can flourish unfettered in a free marketplace or if regulations are needed to mandate strong security, ensure privacy protections and manage other more technical issues ar... Read More

FTC Joins Agencies Adding Security Layer to Consumer Sites

(Feb 10, 2015) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has joined a number of other federal agencies in deploying additional security best practices for public consumer websites, and The websites have enabled a feature called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), which hardcodes all future communications to be encrypted by default so when visitors attempt to visit the sites, HSTS-enabled browsers will automatically encrypt the connection with any additional instruct... Read More

FTC Asked To Investigate Big Data Acquisitions

(Feb 9, 2015) The Center for Digital Democracy, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog and Public Citizen said last week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should launch an investigation into the growing consolidation of big data analytics firms and digital marketing companies, PCWorld reports. The groups are concerned about a “recent spate of acquisitions in the big data and digital marketing industries,” the report states. In a letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the groups wrote about companies “amassing vast ho... Read More

Featured Cases

    Craig Brittain, In the Matter of

    (Jan 29, 2015) The FTC’s complaint against Craig Brittain alleged that he used deception to acquire and post intimate images of women, then referred them to another website he controlled, where they were told they could have the pictures removed if they paid hundreds of dollars. Read More

    Sitesearch Corporation, Doing Business As LeapLab

    (Dec 23, 2014) LeapLab, a data broker operation, allegedly sold the sensitive personal information of hundreds of thousands of consumers – including Social Security and bank account numbers – to scammers who debited millions from their accounts. Read More

    TRUSTe, Inc.

    (Nov 17, 2014) TRUSTe, Inc., a major provider of privacy certifications for online businesses, agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers about its recertification program for company’s privacy practices, as well as perpetuated its misrepresentation as a non-profit entity. TRUSTe seals assure consumers that businesses’ privacy practices are in compliance with specific privacy standards like the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework. Read More

    Yelp Inc.

    (Sep 17, 2014) Yelp is a free service that allows users to read and write reviews of local businesses. In its complaint, the FTC claimed that Yelp violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule (“COPPA Rule”) by failing to implement a functional age-screening mechanism during the registration process for the app. Read More

    American Apparel, Inc.

    (May 9, 2014) Clothing manufacturer American Apparel agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it falsely claimed it was abiding by the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor international privacy framework, which enables U.S. companies to transfer consumer data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with EU law. Read More

    Snapchat, Inc.

    (May 8, 2014) Snapchat, the developer of a popular mobile messaging app, agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through the service. The FTC case also alleged that the company deceived consumers over the amount of personal data it collected and the security measures taken to protect that data from misuse and unauthorized disclosure. Read More

    Jerk, LLC, d/b/a, In the Matter of

    (Apr 27, 2014) The FTC charged the operators of the website “” with harvesting personal information from Facebook to create profiles labeling people a “Jerk” or “not a Jerk,” then falsely claiming that consumers could revise their online profiles by paying $30. According to the FTC’s complaint, between 2009 and 2013 the defendants, Jerk, LLC and the operator of the website, John Fanning, created profiles for more than 73 million people, including children. Read More

    Instant Checkmate, Inc.

    (Apr 19, 2014) Instant Checkmate, Inc., runs, a website that allows users to search public records for information about a person. It marketed its services to landlords and employers, but failed to comply with the provisions of the FCRA when creating and selling its reports. The FTC charged the company with multiple violations of the FCRA, and it paid a civil penalty of $525,000 as part of the settlement. Read More


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