Our special guest is Andrew Nigrinis, PhD, who formerly served as Enforcement Economist for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We first discuss what is meant by “dark patterns” and the types of digital practices identified by the CFPB and Federal Trade Commission as “dark patterns.” We then look at the CFPB ‘s position regarding the use of “dark patterns” as an unfair, deceptive, or abusive act or practice under the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC’s position regarding the use of “dark patterns” as anticompetitive and/or a violation of the FTC Act prohibition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and the relationship between “dark patterns” and behavioral economics. … Continue Reading
Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive acts or practices, does not include a private right of action. Our special guest, Professor Myriam E. Gilles of Cardozo Law School, has written a law review article in which she makes the case for adding a private right of action to Section 5. … Continue Reading
A new FTC blog post titled “Tenant background check reports: Put it in writing” reminds landlords, property managers, and other housing providers of their obligation under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to provide notice of adverse action when information in a consumer report leads them to deny housing to an applicant or require the applicant to pay a deposit that other applicants would not be required to pay. … Continue Reading
The Biden Administration has launched an initiative directed at combatting so-called “junk fees,” with the CFPB and FTC leading the Administration’s efforts. In Part II of this two-part episode, we first look at CFPB supervisory activity relating to auto servicing, mortgage servicing, payday and small dollar loans, and student loan servicing. … Continue Reading
The Biden Administration has launched an initiative directed at combatting so-called “junk fees,” with the CFPB and FTC leading the Administration’s efforts. In Part I of this two-part episode, we first discuss the various definitions offered by the White House, CFPB, and FTC for what constitutes a “junk fee” and the types of fees they have labeled “junk fees.” … Continue Reading
The White House has announced that President Biden intends to nominate Andrew N. Ferguson and Melissa Holyoak to fill the two open Republican Commissioner seats on the Federal Trade Commission.
Mr. Ferguson currently serves as the Virginia Solicitor General. He previously served as Chief Counsel to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from 2019 to 2021. … Continue Reading
Less than a week after announcing that it had filed a civil case against Amazon alleging that the company used “dark patterns” to enroll people in its Prime program, the FTC announced that it has entered into a settlement with Publishers Clearing House (PCH) to settle charges involving PCH’s use of “dark patterns.”… Continue Reading
Last week, the FTC filed a civil case against Amazon alleging that the company used “dark patterns” to enroll people in its Prime program. The case continues a pattern initiated by FTC Chair Lina Khan of challenging web-based marketing tactics of consumer-facing businesses as deceptive and anticompetitive on the grounds that they impede consumer choice and can be used by dominant firms as a tactic to exclude competitors. … Continue Reading
The FTC has filed an amicus brief in support of the CFPB’s appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from the district court’s decision in the CFPB’s enforcement action against Townstone Mortgage (Townstone). In the case, the district court ruled that a redlining claim may not be brought under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) because the statute only applies to applicants.… Continue Reading
On June 21, 2023, the American Financial Services Association (“AFSA”) asked the House Appropriations Committee to include language in the Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill that would prevent the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) from finalizing or implementing the Motor Vehicle Dealers Trade Regulation Rule (the “Proposed Rule”).
In a letter to Representative Steve Womack, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, AFSA criticized the Proposed Rule as a limitation on consumers’ ability to purchase voluntary protection products, such as service contracts, guaranteed asset protection (“GAP”) coverage, tire and wheel protection, and other products that protect vehicles. … Continue Reading