Tag: Medable

California Company Settles FTC Allegations that it Falsely Claimed Participation in EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

California Company Settles FTC Allegations that it Falsely Claimed Participation in EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

A California company has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that it falsely claimed participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework, which enables companies to transfer consumer data legally from European Union countries to the United States.

In its complaint, the FTC alleged that Medable, Inc.—which provides technology solutions to business customers operating in pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and research industries—falsely claimed in its privacy policy that it was a certified participant in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and adhered to the program’s principles. While the company initiated an application with the Department of Commerce in December 2017, it did not complete the steps necessary to participate in the framework.

The Department of Commerce administers the framework, while the FTC enforces the promises companies make when joining the program. With today’s announcement, the FTC has now brought a total of 17 enforcement actions related to the Privacy Shield framework since it was established in 2016.

As part of the settlement with the FTC, Medable is prohibited from misrepresenting its 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.

The Commission vote to issue the proposed administrative complaint and to accept the consent agreement with Medable was 5-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register soon. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Once processed, comments will be posted on Regulations.gov.

NOTE: The Commission issues an administrative complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $42,530.

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