Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

FCC Policy

The next FCC Open Meeting will be March 17, 2021, at 10:30am ET, for consideration of the eight items previously noticed, including an order establishing a nationwide database of communications outage data for state and federal agencies and an order designating 100 MHz of spectrum in the 3.45 GHz band for flexible use. The meeting will be live-streamed here.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Compliance Alerts

The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) will hold a webinar introducing the National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) to companies participating in the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program that are not currently Lifeline providers. The webinar will take place tomorrow, March 16, 2021, at 4:00pm ET. Interested persons can register here.

USAC has issued the registration form for service providers that want to participate in the EBB Program. Eligible Telecommunications Carriers (ETCs) can register to participate in areas where they are currently certified. Non-ETCs must file an application with the FCC for approval to participate in the Program prior to registering with USAC.

For more information about USAC and the EBB Program, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall.

FTC Items

The FTC has entered into a settlement with Tapjoy, Inc. regarding allegations of deceptive advertising in violation of Section 5 for failing to deliver promised in-app rewards within mobile gaming applications. The settlement, which contains no financial penalty, requires Tapjoy to refrain from several practices, such as falsely stating that a reward will issue, and to make clear and conspicuous disclosures to consumers regarding the terms and conditions of receiving in-app rewards. Tapjoy neither admits nor denies the allegations against it. A compliance report must be filed within one year; the settlement expires the later of 20 years from execution or of the date that a complaint is filed to enforce the settlement.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Legislative Affairs

The House Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet will hold a hearing titled “The SHOP SAFE Act: Stemming the Rising Tide of Unsafe Counterfeit Products Online” on March 17, 2021, at 10:00am ET. H.R. 6058, the Stopping Harmful Offers on Platforms by Screening Against Fakes in E-commerce Act of 2020, introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), would create contributory liability for e-commerce platforms that sell counterfeit merchandise “that implicate health and safety” unless (1) the platform had done reasonable investigation into its provenance, and (2) the third-party seller is available for service of process in the United States.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Privacy and the Pandemic

Due to increased access to personal data during the pandemic, states such as Washington, New York, Oklahoma, and Florida are moving closer to passing laws like California’s CCPA and Virginia’s CDPA to protect consumer data privacy. However, Illinois State lawmakers have proposed rolling back the Biometric Privacy Act (BIPA), one of the country’s strictest privacy laws that led to the recent $650 million Facebook settlement regarding face-tagging. BIPA was also the basis for multiple actions recently filed against Clearview A.I., the facial identity firm, and for thousands of other BIPA-related lawsuits against big and small companies.

Some lawmakers say the proposed changes are necessary to protect small business and stop the “cottage industry” of class actions, while others say that the proposed changes will make the law obsolete.

For more information, please contact Marci Lerner Miller.

Note: This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this publication and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

Media Contact

Marlene Laro

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