BBB National Programs Insights

  • Contact Tracing and Tech: An International Comparison

    To confront coronavirus, governments across the globe have devised approaches for tracing its spread and quarantining individuals known to be carriers, also known as “contact tracing.” While almost all strategies rely on traditional means of contacting and recording the movements of infected individuals, many employ modern communications technologies: sensors, Bluetooth, GPS, thermal recognition, facial-recognition, and geofencing.
    Jul 9
  • Caution and Criticism: Contact Tracing through Mobile Apps

    Across the world, new apps are being created to facilitate contact tracing through mobile devices. The hope is that through these technologies, governments across the globe avoid future lockdowns and moderate social distancing orders. Though governments and corporations have marshalled impressive resources to develop these strategies, contact tracing powered by smartphones comes with inevitable challenges, regardless of the technologies used and the categories of contact data generated.
    Jul 9
  • Contact Tracing: The Technology

    Imagine that you have been placed in charge of setting up a contact tracing system using the smartphones already in the hands of the public. As we explained in our first piece in this series, one of the main goals of this system is to alert those who may have come into contact with others infected with coronavirus. Certain information—such as the precise location where such contact has taken place—may be useful but is not strictly necessary to the app’s purpose. And, for the sake of privacy, you want to avoid releasing identifying...
    Jul 9
  • Privacy and App-Driven Contact Tracing

    SARS-CoV-2, commonly known as coronavirus, hit the world by storm, altering the lives of people from the American midwest to Shanghai. As the world unites to “flatten the curve” and guard the surge capacities of hospitals, a common term that has emerged is “contact tracing.” Contact tracing is broadly defined as monitoring individuals that have had contact with a person infected by a disease to ensure that they get treatment and prevent further transmission.
    Jul 9
  • Direct Selling in the Age of the Pandemic

    COVID-19 has left millions of Americans unemployed and seeking new solutions to help them navigate the tough road ahead. Some have turned to the direct selling industry, chasing claims of financial freedom. The attorneys of the Direct Selling Self-Regulatory Council (DSSRC) have been hard at work investigating questionable product and earnings claims from direct selling companies and working to get those claims removed from circulation.
    Jul 7
  • Influencers, Kids, COPPA, and Compliance to Kickoff CARU 2020

    On May 28, the 2020 CARU Conference officially kicked off with a keynote from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Andrew Smith, Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Andrew joined moderator Alice Cahn, Founder of Cahnworks and a legacy name in children’s media, for a virtual fireside chat about the changing landscape of child-directed content over the last few years.
    Jun 16
  • The Mobile App Playground: Looking Out for Kids’ Data Privacy

    The FTC has just announced that they have reached a settlement with children’s app developer, HyperBeard, for unlawfully collecting data from children, users under 13, and using it to target them for behavioral advertising, otherwise known as interest-based advertising. As a result of this settlement, HyperBeard is prohibited from using or benefitting from the personal data they have collected and must delete that data. On top of that? A settlement of $150,000.
    Jun 11
  • How to Protect Children’s Privacy Beyond Parental Controls

    Children’s privacy is a hot topic in the media these days. It may seem like a new concern but we at the BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) have been keeping an eye on it since the beginning. CARU was established decades ago to promote responsible advertising to children at a time when advertising was mainly on television. The self-regulatory program and its guidelines were designed to adapt to changes in the marketing and media landscape – offline and online - so when concerns about online data collection practices arose, CARU was able to get a jump on it even before lawmakers could pass the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in 1998.
    May 22
  • Data Protection for Students Relying on a Virtual Learning Environment

    Amidst school closures and other education uncertainties, education technology, or “ed tech” is at the forefront of conversation. We rely on their online tools to facilitate learning in a virtual environment.
    May 20
  • Like Data for Chocolate: Takeaways from a recent mobile video ads case

    Our recent Chocolate decision may seem complicated; it actually serves as an illustration of some very basic responsibilities from the DAA Principles. Collectively, companies’ responsibilities under the Principles all flow from two simple ideas. First, consumers need to know when interest-based advertising (IBA) happens on websites and mobile apps. Second, they should be able to opt out of it if they want to.
    May 20