Calling all #influencers: that promotional post may attract more attention than you bargained for with your brand if you fail to use required disclosures. With several enforcement actions against companies, assistance from Instagram’s new paid partnerships tool, and the first ever complaint directly against social media influencers, the Federal Trade Commission has made it clear that they are fed up with deceptive endorsements.
An online retailer and its president recently pled guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy for customized promotional products that was implemented through text messaging and social media platforms. The successful prosecutions are the latest in the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust investigation into the online promotional products industry.
Instagram has a message for social media Influencers: the Wild West is coming to an end. The popular photo-sharing platform is rolling out a new tool that will make it easier to tag and track paid commercial content. The tool offers a potential replacement for the much loathed “#ad” disclosure, but it also signals a coming crackdown on Influencer posts.
Major regulatory changes in data governance recently went into effect in Japan and China that are likely to impact organizations doing business in these Asian markets. While the regulations are long-awaited, their implementation follows on the heels of the global Wannacry ransomware data scare and at the same time as companies attempt to prepare for the European General Data Protection Regulation. Both countries’ changes warrant reviews of company policies and procedures, but they are also quite different: Japan’s straightforward amendments focus on consumer information and data protection, while China turned a controversial focus to network operators managing data.
Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that Privacy, Cybersecurity & Data Protection partner Sarah L. Bruno and Labor & Employment partner Jennifer C. Terry have been named among the “Top Women Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal as a result of their impressive track record of successes on behalf of clients, their role as mentors within the firm, and their impact on the overall legal profession.
Ransomware is old news, as we had previously written here. Its latest iteration, the currently circulating WannaCry ransomware, is no laughing matter. The WannaCry vulnerability was reportedly first uncovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) but kept under wraps as a potential tool for possible surveillance. It was subsequently found by hackers who released a cache of stolen NSA documents on the internet, including details about WannaCry.
March and April were very busy months for the Federal Trade Commission’s Office of Consumer Protection staff who focus on “Made in USA” enforcement. Indeed, FTC issued seven “closing letters” to companies during a three-week period, in which FTC closed out its investigations involving allegations that each company “overstated the extent to which” the products in each case were made in the United States. In each case, the FTC closed out the investigation based on the company’s agreement to implement a remedial action plan, including but not limited to such actions as removing unqualified US-origin claims from websites and social media and providing corrected qualified claims to third-party resellers and distributors. This flurry of activity began on March 14, 2017 and ended on April 5, 2017, as follows:
Last week, numerous hospitals operated by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) suffered a ransomware event in which hospital computer systems were encrypted, phone lines became inoperable, patients were diverted, and a Bitcoin ransom was demanded. Hospitals across Britain shut down their computer systems in order to protect patient data and prevent further spread and advised people to stay home unless there was an emergency. NHS Digital, Britain’s national hospital cybersecurity overseer, stated that 16 NHS organizations across Britain had reported an incident, but that the attack did not appear to be specifically targeting NHS hospitals. At this time, there is no indication that the ransomware has exfiltrated any personal data from the NHS.
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