January 13, 2021
Period and fertility-tracking-app maker Flo Health has settled with the Federal Trade Commission regarding a complaint alleging improper disclosure of sensitive user data to third-party marketing and analytics services from Facebook, Google and others, the agency announced today.
The FTC's complaint listed several ways in which Flo deceived its users. These included messaging from the company...
September 22, 2017
When we broke the news in July of the shutdown of Pact, a startup that aimed to motivate users to go to the gym with monetary carrots and sticks, we noted that the reasons for the company's demise weren't readily apparent. Now a new missive from the FTC (first spotted by Gizmodo) is shedding some additional — and, truth be told, not very flattering — light on that story.
While users were promised...
January 24, 2017
Breathometer, the Mark Cuban-backed digital health startup that makes a smartphone-connected oral health sensor, has settled a suit with the Federal Trade Commission over its first product, a smartphone-connected breathalyzer. According to the terms of the settlement, Breathometer will have to offer a full refund to customers who bought the device.
The FTC says that it discovered serious accuracy...
September 12, 2016
Teladoc's antitrust lawsuit against the Texas Medical Board (TMB) is still a long way from over, but an amicus curie brief filed this morning in the Fifth Circuit Court shows that the telemedicine company has friends in high places: namely, the US Federal Trade Commission.
A quick refresher: Teladoc sued the TMB in state court way back in April 2015, alleging that because the board was made up of...
August 17, 2016
On Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved a final order with EHR vendor Practice Fusion that will consent to a 20-year privacy practice order, stemming from its highly-publicized privacy scandal.
The settlement was first announced in June, and after a 30-day comment period, the final order was unanimously approved, 3-0.
Practice Fusion was charged with soliciting reviews from...
July 19, 2016
The ONC issued a report to Congress today laying out the gaps that exist in health data protection. The report opines at length about non-covered entities (NCEs), the large swath of consumer-facing companies that aren’t subject to HIPAA.
“The wearable fitness trackers, social media sites where individuals share health information through specific social networks, and other technologies that are...
April 6, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a new interactive tool on its website, with help from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to help health app developers to determine whether certain regulations apply to their app.
“Mobile app developers need clear information about the...
March 1, 2016
About five months after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) first charged the marketers of a vision improvement app, called UltimEyes, with deceptively claiming their program was scientifically proven to improve the user's eye sight, the FTC has approved a final consent order that requires the company to stop making these claims.
Carrot Neurotechnology, the company behind the UltimEyes, charges $9...
January 14, 2016
The FTC’s PrivacyCon, an all day event that included presentations and discussions from a number of privacy researchers, one presentation focused on the data privacy risks associated with direct to consumer genomic data services. Many of these risks apply to any consumer health data service.
Researchers Jan Charbonneau and Andelka Phillips, of the University of Tasmania and the University of...
September 21, 2015
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged the marketers of a vision improvement app, called UltimEyes, with deceptively claiming they their program was scientifically proven to improve the user's eye sight. The company behind the app, Carrot Neurotechnology, and its co-owners Adam Goldberg and Aaron Seitz have agreed to pay $150,000 and to stop citing the claims. Notably, the $5.99 app is...