Twelve U.S. businesses have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they falsely claimed they were abiding by an international privacy framework known as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor that enables U.S. companies to transfer consumer data from the European Union to the United States in compliance with EU law.
The companies settling with the FTC represent a cross-section of industries, including retail, professional sports, laboratory science, data broker, debt collection, and information security. The companies handle a variety of consumer information, including in some instances sensitive data about health and employment. The twelve companies are:
Apperian, Inc.: Company specializing in mobile applications for business enterprises and security;
Atlanta Falcons Football Club, LLC: National Football League team;
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP: Accounting firm;
BitTorrent, Inc.: Provider of peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol;
Charles River Laboratories International, Inc.: Global developer of early-stage drug discovery processes;
DataMotion, Inc.: Provider of platform for encrypted email and secure file transport;
DDC Laboratories, Inc.: DNA testing lab and the world’s largest paternity testing company;
Level 3 Communications, LLC: One of the six largest ISPs in the world;
PDB Sports, Ltd., d/b/a Denver Broncos Football Club: National Football League team;
Reynolds Consumer Products Inc.: Maker of foil and other consumer products;
Receivable Management Services Corporation: Global provider of accounts receivable, third-party recovery, bankruptcy and other services; and
Tennessee Football, Inc.: National Football League team.
“Enforcement of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework is a Commission priority. These twelve cases help ensure the integrity of the Safe Harbor Framework and send the signal to companies that they cannot falsely claim participation in the program,” said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez.
According to the twelve complaints filed by the FTC, the companies deceptively claimed they held current certifications under the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor framework and, in three of the complaints, also deceptively claimed certifications under the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor framework.
The U.S.-EU and U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor frameworks are voluntary programs administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce in consultation with the European Commission and Switzerland, respectively.