August 12, 2019 – Plan Outlines Priorities for Federal Agency Engagement in AI Standards Development
Due to the rapid pace of technology development and changing understandings of the “trustworthiness, accessibility, and human‐centered implications of AI,” the plan emphasizes the need for federal agencies to be flexible in selecting AI standards for use in regulatory or procurement actions. It also calls for prioritizing multidisciplinary research and
expanding public‐private partnerships to advance reliable, robust and trustworthy AI. The plan also highlights related tools
that will be needed to support AI, including benchmarks, evaluations and challenges that could drive creative problem solving. https://www.nist.gov/news‐events/news/2019/08/plan‐outlines‐priorities‐federal‐agency‐engagement‐ai‐ standards‐development
August 8, 2019 – Operator of Email Management Service Settles FTC Allegations that it Deceived Consumers About How it Accesses and Uses Emails
Unrollme Inc., an email management company, will be required to delete personal information it collected from consumers as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that the company deceived some consumers about how it accesses and uses their personal emails. In a complaint, the FTC alleges that Unrollme Inc., falsely told consumers that it would not “touch” their personal emails, when in fact it was sharing the users’ email receipts (e‐ receipts) with its parent company, Slice Technologies, Inc. According to the complaint, after learning during the signup process that Unrollme requires access to a consumer’s email account, some consumers declined to grant permission. The complaint alleges that the company tried to persuade these consumers to reconsider by making false and deceptive statements. For example, users who declined to grant the company access to their email received a message claiming “you need to authorize us to access your emails. Don’t worry, this is just to watch for those pesky newsletters, we’ll never touch your personal stuff.” From October 2016 through at least September 2018, users saw a message that said, “Oops! Looks like you declined access” and added, “Unroll.Me requires access to your inbox so we can scan for subscriptions and allow you to begin clearing out your inbox.” The message did not tell users that access to their inboxes would also be used to collect e‐receipts and to sell the purchase information they contain.
PRO TIP: Do not share your users’ personal data with third parties UNLESS it is prominently disclosed to your users.
July 31, 2019 – Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Issues Penalties for Bad Ads
Any advertisement for medical cannabis or medical cannabis‐related services may not be placed within 500 feet of a substance abuse or treatment facility; a primary or secondary school in the state; a licensed child care center; a registered family child care home; a playground; recreation center; library; or public park. Recently issued regulations state penalties for violations of the advertising rules:
– $500 for the first violation;
– $1,000 for the second violation, if violated within 24 months of the first violation; and
– $5,000 for each subsequent violation, if within 24 months of a prior violation.
PRO TIP: Never NEVER tout therapeutic or medical claims in ads or labeling for cannabis products without substantial clinical evidence or data and include information on the most significant side‐effects or risks associated with use.
July 24, 2019 – FTC sues Cambridge Analytica for deceptive claims about consumers’ personal information
The Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint against data analytics company Cambridge Analytica, and filed settlements for public comment with Cambridge Analytica’s former chief executive and an app developer who worked with the company, alleging they employed deceptive tactics to harvest personal information from tens of millions
of Facebook users for voter profiling and targeting. Cambridge Analytica has filed for bankruptcy and has not settled the FTC’s allegations. The FTC alleges that Cambridge Analytica, Nix, and Kogan deceived consumers by falsely claiming they did not collect any personally identifiable information from Facebook users who were asked to answer survey questions and share some of their Facebook profile data. The FTC separately announced that Facebook will pay a record‐breaking $5 billion penalty and submit to new restrictions that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users’ privacy as part of a settlement resolving allegations that the company violated a 2012 FTC privacy order.
PRO TIP: Don’t use Facebook or other online chat platforms if you’re concerned about deceptive use of personal data.
July 20, 2019 – SAG‐AFTRA Strike Against BBH ‐‐ Netflix signs SAG‐AFTRA
SAG‐AFTRA has ended its 10‐month strike against Bartle Bogle Hegarty (Publicis) after the advertising agency agreed to sign the union’s new commercials contract. The union instructed its 160,000 members in September not to accept any work for BBH, which had been signed to SAG‐AFTRA’s commercials contracts since 1999. The strike came two weeks after
BBH publicly announced that it had withdrawn from the contract, asserting that the agreement was outdated and accusing the union of being inflexible. The union held dozens of rallies against BHH, including one in January that drew nearly 1,000 supporters next to the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles. https://variety.com/2019/digital/news/sag‐aftra‐ends‐long‐strikeagainst‐
Netflix has signed SAG‐AFTRA’s contract for film and TV productions, the first such deal between a streamer and the union. Previously, the union had been signing productions with Netflix directly — production by production. It now has a term agreement for live‐action dramatic productions. The new deal also recognizes performance capture and dubbing as work covered under the traditional agreement, including those of Netflix’s live‐action foreign language films and animated motion pictures dubbed into English. https://www.thewrap.com/sag‐aftra‐netflix/
PRO TIP: Once a union shop ‐ forever a union shop.
June 5, 2019 – US cannabis pioneers face chaotic advertising laws
Koi CBD, LLC is a cannabis company based in California.
Bianca Thurston, from Pennsylvania, purchased Koi’s CBD products
in a local store. She chose Koi’s products under the impression that they could help treat or mitigate her knee pain and that she would not fail her employer’s drug test because the cannabis company claimed and marketed its CBD products derived from hemp as being free from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which has psychoactive properties. After using Koi’s products, Thurston was given a random drug test by her employer, which came back positive for cannabinoids. She lost her job as a result. In April 2019 Thurston filed a class action lawsuit in California against Koi CBD, suing it for violations of California State Unfair Competition and Consumer Legal Remedies Laws and the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. https://www.iam‐media.com/us‐cannabis‐pioneers‐face‐chaotic‐advertising‐laws
AAF Baltimore Legislative Committee:
Cynthia B. Sanders, Esq.
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz
100 Light Street, 19th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Clark Rector, EVP Gov Affairs
American Advertising Federation
1101 Vermont Ave. NW, 5th Fl.
Washington, DC 20005