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Massachusetts Issues Draft Guidance on POS Transaction Recordkeeping

What’s the News? The Massachusetts Department of Revenue recently issued a draft directive setting out what records must be kept for all vendors, retailers, and contractors using computerized point-of-sale (POS) systems. The purpose of the new recordkeeping and record retention guidelines is to ensure that the state can suitably verify what was sold and whether the retailer paid the proper amount of tax. These new guidelines add to the growing list of state regulations targeting POS data collection practices.

Ikea Seeks Class Decertification in ZIP Code Case

What Made News? Ikea recently argued that a class action filed against it based on alleged violations of California’s Song-Beverly Act should not be maintained. Ikea admits that its sales registers prompt sales associates to collect ZIP codes from consumers, but it argues that associates often bypass the prompt. Because it does not have a policy to collect ZIP codes, Ikea claims that it cannot be held liable for the alleged illegal ZIP code collections.

California Attorney General Reports Upswing in Data Breaches

What’s the News? In October 2014, California Attorney General Kamala Harris released the California Data Breach Report, the state’s most recent analysis of data security threats facing businesses and consumers. The Report, which notes a dramatic 28 percent increase in data breaches in California in 2013, serves as a reminder to businesses nationwide of the constant threat of increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals — and the need for new and better approaches to safeguarding sensitive information.

Incentives and Promotions in the Fashion Arena: The FTC Weighs In

Fashion designers’ retail pricing and promotional strategies have quickly evolved in the last decade, with Internet channels dramatically altering distribution and sales tactics. Many designers craft tactics to carefully differentiate their contract terms among retailers, from high-end, brick-and-mortar stores to Internet retailers and others.

FTC’s New Chief Technologist Outlines Regulatory Agenda

What’s the News? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently named Ashkan Soltani as its newest Chief Technologist. In this role, Soltani will serve as the agency’s top regulator on a variety of issues involving technology and consumer protection. Chief among them are data security and online privacy, which have become major FTC priorities in recent years. Soltani is regarded as an expert in the privacy field and has previously served as an advisor to the FTC, state attorneys general, and major corporations.

Results of Caffeinated Shapewear? Slim to None

Two Women’s Shapewear Marketers Settle FTC Charges of Deceptive Weight Loss and Slimming Claims  

BOGO? More Like ‘No Go’

FTC Brings First Case Under Federal Negative Option Law What’s Making News? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently brought its first case under the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA), a 2010 federal law that prohibits online sellers from charging consumers in an Internet transaction unless the seller has clearly disclosed all material terms of the transaction and obtained consumers’ express informed consent.

California Class Actions? Bass Pro Finds It’s Like Shootin’ Fish in a Barrel

What Happened? The outdoor sporting goods company Bass Pro recently agreed to pay $6 million to settle claims that it violated California privacy laws. Specifically, Bass Pro faced a potential class action lawsuit over claims that it recorded telephone calls between consumers and the company’s customer service representatives without first obtaining the consumers’ consent.

At Outlets, Consumers Say Deals are Too Good to Be True

A flurry of recent class action lawsuits is forcing clothing retailers to rethink their marketing tactics for outlet stores. In the last few months, lawsuits have been filed against a who’s who of major clothing retailers — The Gap, Banana Republic, Saks Fifth Avenue, Michael Kors, and Neiman Marcus — stemming from allegations that the companies are misleading consumers about the quality of merchandise sold in outlets.

We’re Not Getting Any Younger: L’Oréal Settles FTC Charges Over Deceptive Anti-Aging Claims

What’s the News? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently settled with L’Oréal USA Inc. over charges that the company made deceptive claims regarding the benefits of two of its products. Specifically, L’Oréal claimed that its Génifique and Youth Code facial skincare products could combat the effects of aging by affecting the genes of anyone who used it. However, according to the FTC, such claims lacked adequate substantiation. Given the FTC’s allegations, L’Oréal has elected to settle the dispute and has agreed to a proposed consent order.