Compliance Now

Bringing clarity and insight to the consumer protection regulations impacting your business

May 25, 2016

FCC Establishes Consumer Complaint Data Center

On May 18, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched an online Consumer Complaint Data Center, a compilation of all consumer complaints made to the FCC since 2015.  The comprehensive database will be updated daily with informal complaints detailing the service the consumer is complaining about, the method by which the service is received, the issue the consumer has with [...]

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May 18, 2016

Supreme Court Holds that Plaintiffs Must Prove Concrete Harm to Sustain a Lawsuit

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States held in Spokeo Inc. v. Robins that a plaintiff cannot sue for technical violations of a statute—the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in this particular case—without showing concrete harm. The relevant facts of the case are fairly simple.  The plaintiff, Thomas Robins, accused Spokeo, a people search engine, of violating the [...]

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May 06, 2016

CFPB Proposes Rule to Limit Arbitration Clauses

On May 5th the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed a new rule to prohibit many providers of consumer financial services from utilizing arbitration clauses that prohibit the consumer from filing or participating in a class action with respect to the covered consumer financial service.  The new rule would apply to many consumer financial service providers, including, but not limited to: [...]

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Apr 29, 2016

CFPB Lacks the Authority to Investigate For-Profit College Accreditors

A D.C. federal judge recently ruled that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) cannot force a for-profit college accrediting group to comply with a civil investigative demand to determine its method for accrediting schools, as the agency lacks the authority under existing consumer protection laws. U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon said consumer protection laws do not currently address, regulate [...]

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Apr 05, 2016

FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Broadband Transparency

FCC Adopts Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Regarding Broadband Transparency On March 31st, the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from Chairman Tom Wheeler regarding new rules to govern customer privacy and data breach response for broadband internet providers. Currently, broadband networks do not have FCC enforceable privacy rules similar to those that govern telephone networks and many [...]

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Apr 04, 2016

Hyperlinked “Terms of Use” on Website Deemed Unenforceable

Recently, a California Court of Appeals held that a “Terms of Use” hyperlink at the bottom of a website was not enough to bind website users to the stated terms, including a mandatory arbitration provision.  In the case, Provide Commerce, Inc.’s website “www.proflowers.com” provided a hyperlink at the bottom of each webpage that, once clicked, took website users to the [...]

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Mar 10, 2016

CFPB Unveils First Data Security Case

Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a settlement with an Iowa based company, Dwolla, Inc., marking the first time the CFPB has penalized a company for lax of data security.  The agency alleged that Dwolla, a payment processor, deceived consumers by claiming to have data security practices that surpassed industry standards when in fact, Dwolla had actually [...]

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Mar 09, 2016

CFPB Invites Complaints Against Online Marketplace Lenders

Marketplace lenders (also referred to as “peer-to-peer” or “platform” lenders) have become popular methods of consumer lending in the past few years.  In fact, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, peer-to-peer lenders in the United States issued approximately $5.5 billion in loans in 2014.  Given this growing presence in the consumer lending space, it was only a matter of time before [...]

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Feb 23, 2016

CFPB Finalizes No Action Letter Policy

On February 18th, the CFPB finalized its No Action Letter (“NAL”) Policy as part of its Project Catalyst.  Project Catalyst is a CFPB program designed to reduce the burden on new and innovative consumer financial products. And while that sounds like CFPB would take a liberal approach to issuing NALs, the new NAL Policy demonstrates how difficult obtaining a NAL [...]

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Feb 16, 2016

FTC Announces its 2016 Rule Review Schedule

The FTC announced that it intends to initiate reviews of, and solicit public comments on, the following rules: (1) Standards for Safeguarding Customer Information, 16 CFR part 314. Agency Contact: David Lincicum, (202) 326-2773, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20580. (2) CAN-SPAM Rule, 16 CFR part 316. Agency Contact: Christopher [...]

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