Jenner & Block

Client Alert: FTC on the Move: Mobile Enforcement and Policy Recommendations Demonstrate Heightened Interest in Mobile Privacy Issues

On February 22, 2013, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its first Consent Order agreement for alleged unfair and deceptive trade practices against a mobile device manufacturer, HTC America, Inc. (HTC), maker of Android-based mobile devices.  The authors, Partner, Mary Ellen Callahan, and Associates David M. Didion and Sabrina N. Guenther, point out that this Consent Order is noteworthy for several reasons: first, the definition of covered information is very broad, including “individually identifiable information” such as precise geolocation, static IP address, MAC address, cookies, and almost all information on a particular mobile device; second, the FTC is continuing its pursuit of legal theories against “unfair” data security practices whenever it perceives a security gap; and third, although this Consent Order involves a mobile device manufacturer, the conclusions and content could be applied to many participants in the mobile industry.