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In this edition of our Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, we analyze several significant developments occurring in July 2014, including a recent address by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew calling for tougher congressional action and greater private sector transparency regarding cybersecurity, the enactment of new U.S. laws requiring certain defense and intelligence contractors to report data breaches, and clarification from the FTC on verifiable parental consent methods for website operators and mobile app developers.
On July 21, 2014, the FTC announced plans to settle charges with two Internet resellers of Universal Product Code barcodes accused of violating Section 5 of the FTC Act by inviting competitors to collude. The case reflects a continuing trend of government enforcement in this area and underscores the FTC’s view that simply proposing terms of coordinating competitive actions violates Section 5.
The FDA recently issued several draft guidance documents to assist manufacturers with their product communications via social media. While the documents acknowledge the unique characteristics of certain social media platforms and the need for some flexibility in promotional communications, the FDA will continue to apply traditional regulatory requirements as much as possible — an approach that manufacturers may find too restrictive when trying to utilize the Internet to market their products.