Alert March 19, 2013

FTC Releases Report and Recommendations for Mobile Payments Industry

Following up on a workshop conducted in April 2012, and a report on mobile privacy disclosures issued earlier this year (see February 5, 2013 Alert), the FTC issued a report specific to the mobile payments industry. The report, "Paper, Plastic… or Mobile? An FTC Workshop on Mobile Payments," focuses primarily on three topics: (1) dispute resolution, (2) data security and (3) privacy. For example, the report urges incorporation of "privacy by design" concepts into all elements of product development, such as enabling consumer choice in privacy settings, and ensuring disclosures and system protections are commensurate with the function at issue. The report also expresses specific concerns related to the relatively lightly regulated arena of mobile carrier billing, noting that a separate roundtable on the issue is being organized by the FTC, while applauding contractual protections that some companies voluntarily provide to their customers. While the report briefly addresses these overarching issues—dispute resolution, consumer data security and privacy—according to the FTC, the issues highlighted are areas for continued monitoring and attention.