The Federal Trade Commission has finalized settlements with five companies over allegations they falsely claimed certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which enables companies to transfer consumer data legally from European Union countries to the United States.
In separate actions, the FTC alleged that DCR Workforce, Inc., Thru, Inc., LotaData, Inc., and 214 Technologies, Inc. all falsely claimed in statements on their websites that they were certified under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework. The FTC alleged that LotaData also falsely claimed that it was a certified participant in the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which establishes a data transfer process similar to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.
Finally, the FTC alleged that EmpiriStat, Inc. falsely claimed it was a current participant in the Privacy Shield after allowing its certification to lapse, failed to verify annually that statements about its Privacy Shield practices were accurate, and did not affirm it would continue to apply Privacy Shield protections to personal information collected while participating in the program.
Under the settlements, all five companies are prohibited from misrepresenting their participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, any other privacy or data security program sponsored by the government, or any self-regulatory or standard-setting organization. EmpiriStat also is required to continue to apply the Privacy Shield protections to personal information it collected while participating in the program, or return or delete the information.
After receiving no comments, the FTC voted 5-0 to approve the settlements.
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