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FTC to Hold Dot Com Disclosures Workshop on May 30

May 2012

Companies doing business on the mobile Internet should monitor the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop to be held on May 30, 2012.  The FTC's Dot Com Disclosure guidelines of 2000 targeted fraud and deception in online advertising.  For example, the guidelines call for disclosures to be "clear and conspicuous," appearing in close proximity to the relevant claim.  At the May 30 workshop, the FTC intends to discuss revising the Dot Com Disclosures to tackle the following issues:

  • How can short, effective and accessible privacy disclosures be made on mobile devices, notwithstanding the inherent space constraints?
  • As location-based ads are at the center of the FTC's inquiry, how should the necessary level of disclosure change as the consumer changes location?  When advertisements are aggregated or retransmitted, how can disclosures made in the original advertisement be retained?
  • What does research about consumers' use of mobile devices demonstrate about the effectiveness of disclosures and consumer understanding and decision making based on disclosures and advertising displayed on these platforms?  Is there specific research on the effectiveness of disclosures on mobile devices, including layered disclosures and icons, and, if so, what are the implications of that research for disclosures such as offer terms and privacy practices?