Welcome to "On the 50 Yard Line" The Blog of Stuart L. Pardau, Attorney, Professor and Observer of Political Economy; It’s not just about football.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Federal Trade Commission Grants Approval of Imperium's "ChildGuardOnline" As A COPPA Verifiable Consent Method

Based on an application submitted by Connecticut-based Imperium, the FTC has approved the use of knowledge-based authentication as a method to verify that the person providing consent for a child to use an online service is in fact the child’s parent.
Under the COPPA Rule, online sites and services directed at children must obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information from that child. The rule lays out a number of acceptable methods for gaining parental consent, but also includes a provision allowing interested parties to submit new verifiable parental consent methods to the Commission for approval.
Knowledge-based identification is a way to verify the identity of a user by asking a series of challenge questions, typically that rely on so-called “out-of-wallet” information; that is, information that cannot be determined by looking at an individual’s wallet and are difficult for someone other than the individual to answer. This authentication method has been used by financial institutions and credit bureaus for a number of years, and has been acknowledged by the Commission and other government agencies as effective for that purpose.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hulu Loses Motion To Dismiss in Lawsuit Against re Alleged Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA) Violations

A  US, Magistrate Judge  has turned down a request by ad-supported video content platform Hulu to dismiss a lawsuit which accused it of illegally sharing users’ viewing history with Facebook and comScore.

Hulu has argued that viewers need to demonstrate ‘actual injury’ in order to receive damages under the Video Privacy Protection Act (VPPA). However, the Court ruled that this act requires only injury in the form of a wrongful disclosure before damages might be available. 


Thursday, December 26, 2013

The End of Law Libraries?

Or at least the end of law libraries as we have historically known them. The basic premise that law schools, now in secular contraction mode, will need to continue to find ways to cut expenses.  Moving to pure online research is a logical next step for most law schools. Think in terms of law firms, these days. How many of the attorneys do their legal research in the traditional law firm library? Not many, is my sense.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Moving Target: Meetings with State Attorney Generals Ongoing; Number of Civil Lawsuits Close to 20

Not much holiday cheer in the GC and CPO offices at Target this year. This is a major legal and public relations disaster for Target. Almost certainly, they will make it through this mess but not without a lot of pain along the way.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Shocker: Law School Enrollments For Entering Classes Nationwide at 1977 Levels

Well, maybe not so shocking. The job market for junior lawyers remains horrible and more commoditized, cookie-cutter legal work (setting up LLCs, basic agreements, etc.) are being overtaken by legal information/service providers such as Legal Zoom. Indeed, it has been reported that over 50% of the LLC's set up in California in 2012 were through Legal Zoom. This has a real impact on the bar and on the future of many existing law practices.


3 Paradoxes of Big Data

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Jersey AG Settles WIth Maker of "Dokobots" App RE Alleged COPPA Violations


Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, the Division of Law and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced today that Dokogeo, Inc., a California-based company that makes mobile device applications, has entered into a settlement agreement with the State that resolves allegations it violated the federal Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA) and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act by collecting personal information about children who used its animation-based “Dokobots” mobile app.

Under terms of the settlement, Dokogeo must clearly and conspicuously disclose – in its apps and on the homepage of its Web sites – the types of personal information it collects, the manner in which it uses such information, and whether it discloses information to third parties. The company also is required to refrain from collecting the personal information of children age 13 and under until it makes the required disclosures, and otherwise complies with COPPA. Dokogeo already has removed all photographs and files containing children’s images from its Dokobots Web site, and has removed geolocation information of children since July 1, 2013.

Dokogeo also agrees to a suspended payout of $25,000. The payout will be due immediately if the company fails to comply with other restraints and conditions included in the settlement agreement. Dokogeo’s $25,000 payout obligation will be vacated after 10 years if it meets all settlement terms, and avoids violating consumer fraud and child online privacy laws.

Almost always , failure to have "clear and conspicuous" disclosure creates problems.

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