Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment, 43132-43134 [2019-17815]

Download as PDF 43132 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices and Order, Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order on Reconsideration, FCC 18–176 (2018 Rate-of-Return Order). This information collection addresses the requirement that certain carriers with high-cost reporting obligations must file information about their locations which meet their broadband deployment public interest obligations via an electronic portal (‘‘portal’’). The 2016 Rate-of-Return Order required that the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) establish the portal so that carriers could file their location data with the portal starting in 2017. The 2016 Rate-of-Return Order required all recipients of Phase II model-based support and rate-of-return carriers to submit geocoded location data and related certifications to the portal. Recipients of Phase II model-based support had been required to file such information in their annual reports due by July 1. The Phase II Auction Order, Alaska Plan Order, and New York Auction Order require carriers to buildout networks capable of meeting their public interest obligations and report, to an online portal, locations to which auction winners had deployed such networks. The Alaska Plan Order also made portal reporting requirements for carriers to submit fiber/microwave middle-mile network maps. This information collection also addresses the new additional offers of modelbased support and increased broadband deployment obligations, and other improvements to the portal. With the new additional offers, there will be more carriers subject to the model-based deployment milestones and fewer carriers remaining on legacy support. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary. [FR Doc. 2019–17805 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712–01–P FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION [File No. 172 3139] Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment Federal Trade Commission. Proposed consent agreement; request for comment. AGENCY: jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES ACTION: SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations. DATES: Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2019. ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file comments online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write: ‘‘Unrollme Inc.; File No. 172 3139’’ on your comment, and file your comment online at https:// www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Koulousias (202–326–3334), Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for August 8, 2019), on the World Wide Web, at https:// www.ftc.gov/news-events/commissionactions. You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before September 19, 2019. Write ‘‘Unrollme Inc.; File No. 172 3139’’ on your comment. Your comment— including your name and your state— will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, on the https:// www.regulations.gov website. Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your PO 00000 Frm 00034 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 comments online through the https:// www.regulations.gov website. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ‘‘Unrollme Inc.; File No. 172 3139’’ on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC–5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by courier or overnight service. Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or confidential information. In particular, your comment should not include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone else’s Social Security number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, your comment should not include any ‘‘trade secret or any commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or confidential’’—as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)— including in particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names. Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled ‘‘Confidential,’’ and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has been posted on the public FTC website—as legally required by FTC E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Rule 4.9(b)—we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General Counsel grants that request. Visit the FTC website at http:// www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before September 19, 2019. For information on the Commission’s privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/siteinformation/privacy-policy. Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment The Federal Trade Commission (‘‘Commission’’) has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Unrollme Inc. (‘‘Unrollme’’). The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After 30 days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the agreement’s proposed order. This matter involves Unrollme’s email management service, which Unrollme has offered to consumers since at least June 2012. Unrollme provides services to consumers to help them manage subscription emails, such as newsletters or marketing emails from retailers. During the sign-up process, Unrollme requires consumers to grant Unrollme full access to the email accounts that they wish to enroll in its services. This permission allows Unrollme to access and scan users’ inboxes for subscription emails to provide its services. Unrollme also provides access to its users’ email accounts to its parent company, Slice Technologies, Inc. (‘‘Slice’’). Slice, a market research company, accesses Unrollme users’ inboxes in order to collect information from the users’ ereceipts, i.e., emailed receipts from businesses following an order or purchase. Slice retains this information, and creates a separate database of anonymous purchase information that it uses in its market research analytics products. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 After learning that Unrollme requires access to their email account(s) during the sign-up process, some consumers declined to grant that permission. The proposed complaint alleges that when consumers initially declined to grant permission to their email account(s), Unrollme violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by making false and deceptive statements designed to encourage the consumer to change his or her mind and grant Unrollme access to his or her email account(s) and continue the signup process. Count I of the proposed complaint alleges that Unrollme represented, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that it would not touch users’ ‘‘personal emails.’’ From at least January 2015 through November 2015, Unrollme’s message to consumers who declined to grant Unrollme access to their email stated, ‘‘It looks like you clicked No thanks. In order to use Unroll.me, you need to tell [your email service provider] to allow us to monitor your emails. Don’t worry, we won’t touch your personal stuff.’’ (Emphasis added). From November 2015 through October 26, 2016, Unrollme’s message to consumers who declined to grant Unrollme access to their email stated, ‘‘Authorization Declined In order to use Unroll.me, you need to authorize us to access your emails. Don’t worry, this is just to watch for those pesky newsletters, we’ll never touch your personal stuff.’’ (Emphasis added). The proposed complaint alleges that these representations were false or misleading because Unrollme grants Slice access to its users’ inboxes, including personal emails in the form of e-receipts, which is then used to collect and sell purchase information contained therein to third parties. Count II of the proposed complaint alleges that Unrollme represented, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that Unrollme required access to users’ inboxes in order to scan for subscription emails. From October 27, 2016, through at least September 2018, Unrollme’s message to consumers who declined to grant Unrollme access to their email has stated, ‘‘Oops! Looks like you declined access’’ and ‘‘Unroll.Me requires access to your inbox so we can scan for subscriptions and allow you to begin clearing out your inbox.’’ The complaint alleges that Unrollme failed to disclose, or failed to disclose adequately, that Unrollme also grants Slice access to its users’ inboxes, which Slice then used to collect and sell purchase information contained in users’ personal emails in the form of ereceipts and that this fact would be PO 00000 Frm 00035 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 43133 material to consumers in their decision to use Unrollme’s services. The proposed order contains injunctive provisions addressing the alleged deceptive conduct. Part I of the proposed order prohibits misrepresentations about the extent to which Unrollme accesses, collects, uses, stores or shares covered information in connection with any product, service or software operated, owned or distributed by Unrollme that requires access to consumer emails. Part II of the proposed order requires Unrollme to send an email notification to all known current users who enrolled in Unrollme’s services after viewing the challenged statements that explains that Unrollme or its parent access or collect email purchase receipts for use in market research products that are sold to third parties. The required notification is contained in Exhibit A of the proposed order. Part III of the proposed order requires Unrollme to delete within 10 days of the entry of the Order all stored email purchase receipts, and all personally identifiable information obtained from those receipts, for all known users who enrolled in Unrollme’s services after viewing the challenged statements. Parts IV through VII of the proposed order are reporting and compliance provisions, which include recordkeeping requirements and provisions requiring Unrollme to provide information or documents necessary for the Commission to monitor compliance. Part VIII states that the proposed order will remain in effect for 20 years, with certain exceptions. The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any way the proposed order’s terms. By direction of the Commission. April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary. Separate Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips I join my colleagues in supporting this settlement, but write separately to highlight the surrounding circumstances, which are relevant to the current privacy debate. As the complaint alleges, Unroll.me offered a free service that helped consumers organize their email inboxes. It supported this free service by allowing its parent company to scan consumers’ emails for purchase-related information, which the parent collected for the anonymized market research it E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 43134 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 161 / Tuesday, August 20, 2019 / Notices jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES sells. Until around September 2018, the complaint alleges that, in a number of instances, Unroll.me failed adequately to disclose these collection practices, which failure violated the law. Unrelated to the allegations in the complaint, in late 2018, Google announced it would limit third-party apps (like Unroll.me) from using the information in Gmail accounts of consumers for purposes such as market research or advertising.1 Promoted as means to enhance consumer privacy, that decision may also limit consumer choice and competition. Many millions of consumers see value in Unroll.me’s service, which helps them manage the barrage of daily emails crowding their inboxes. Unroll.me has since removed the allegedly deceptive statements and updated its disclosures—consumers may now be better aware of the privacy trade-offs, and continue to use the service. For these consumers, granting access for the collection of purchase data may be a choice worth making. Google’s new privacy restrictions threaten to take that option away from consumers. That may be good for privacy, but not for consumer choice. While Google will retain control of and access to the valuable purchase and other information about consumers contained in their Gmail accounts, other market actors—like Unroll.me and its parent, Rakuten Intelligence, a market research firm—may no longer have access. Google’s restrictions thus potentially ‘‘imperil the business models of some popular email extensions,’’ 2 like Unroll.me. That may be good for privacy, but not for competition. I am not suggesting that Google sought to limit consumer choice or competition, or that it is violating the law. Consumers are focusing increasingly on privacy, and firms like Google may be responding to that demand. But this situation highlights an important aspect of the privacy debate, i.e., the impact that privacy-enhancing decisions may have on consumer choice and competition. There is no right answer, and we as a society may very well choose limitations on consumer choice and competition to protect privacy. Privacy 1 Ben Smith, Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+, Google Safety and Security (Oct. 8, 2018), https://www.blog.google/technology/ safety-security/project-strobe/. 2 Cat Zakrzewski, A small privacy change for Google leads to big disruptions for start-ups, Washington Post (Oct. 15, 2018), https:// www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/10/15/ small-privacy-change-google-leads-big-disruptionsstartups/. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Aug 19, 2019 Jkt 247001 is important. Consumers and policymakers alike must recognize, however, that it comes with tradeoffs. And competition enforcers must be vigilant, recognizing the potential of privacy efforts negatively to impact competition. [FR Doc. 2019–17815 Filed 8–19–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS–1957 and CMS– 10407] Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS’ intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, and to allow a second opportunity for public comment on the notice. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding the burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency’s functions, the accuracy of the estimated burden, ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden. DATES: Comments on the collection(s) of information must be received by the OMB desk officer by September 19, 2019. ADDRESSES: When commenting on the proposed information collections, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be received by the OMB desk officer via one of the following transmissions: OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, PO 00000 Frm 00036 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Attention: CMS Desk Officer, Fax Number: (202) 395–5806 OR, Email: OIRA_submission@omb.eop.gov. To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following: 1. Access CMS’ website address at https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-andGuidance/Legislation/Paperwork ReductionActof1995/PRA-Listing.html. 1. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to Paperwork@cms.hhs.gov. 2. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786–1326. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William Parham at (410) 786–4669. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501–3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term ‘‘collection of information’’ is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)) requires federal agencies to publish a 30-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice that summarizes the following proposed collection(s) of information for public comment: 1. Type of Information Collection Request: Extension without change of a currently approved collection; Title of Information Collection: Social Security Office Report of State Buy-in Problem; Use: The statutory authority for the State Buy-in program is Section 1843 of the Social Security Act, amended through 1989. Under Section 1843, a State can enter into an agreement to provide Medicare protection to individuals who are members of a Buyin coverage group, as specified in the State’s Buy-in agreement. The Code of Federal Regulations at 42 CFR Section 407.40 provides for States to enroll in Medicare and pay the premiums for all eligible members covered under a Buyin coverage group. Individuals enrolled in Medicare through the Buy-in program must be eligible for Medicare and be an eligible member of a Buy-in coverage E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 161 (Tuesday, August 20, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 43132-43134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-17815]


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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

[File No. 172 3139]


Unrollme Inc.; Analysis To Aid Public Comment

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION: Proposed consent agreement; request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged 
violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or 
practices. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both 
the allegations in the complaint and the terms of the consent order--
embodied in the consent agreement--that would settle these allegations.

DATES:  Comments must be received on or before September 19, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties may file comments online or on paper, by 
following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write: ``Unrollme Inc.; File 
No. 172 3139'' on your comment, and file your comment online at https://www.regulations.gov by following the instructions on the web-based 
form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to 
the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the 
Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), 
Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 
20024.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amanda Koulousias (202-326-3334), 
Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 
Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20580.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal 
Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 2.34, 16 CFR 2.34, 
notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement 
containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with 
and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been 
placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The 
following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the 
consent agreement and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic 
copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained 
from the FTC Home Page (for August 8, 2019), on the World Wide Web, at 
https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/commission-actions.
    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to 
consider your comment, we must receive it on or before September 19, 
2019. Write ``Unrollme Inc.; File No. 172 3139'' on your comment. Your 
comment--including your name and your state--will be placed on the 
public record of this proceeding, including, to the extent practicable, 
on the https://www.regulations.gov website.
    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to 
heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit 
your comments online through the https://www.regulations.gov website.
    If you prefer to file your comment on paper, write ``Unrollme Inc.; 
File No. 172 3139'' on your comment and on the envelope, and mail your 
comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of 
the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite CC-5610 (Annex D), 
Washington, DC 20580; or deliver your comment to the following address: 
Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 
400 7th Street SW, 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex D), Washington, DC 
20024. If possible, submit your paper comment to the Commission by 
courier or overnight service.
    Because your comment will be placed on the publicly accessible 
website at https://www.regulations.gov, you are solely responsible for 
making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive or 
confidential information. In particular, your comment should not 
include any sensitive personal information, such as your or anyone 
else's Social Security number; date of birth; driver's license number 
or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; 
passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card 
number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your 
comment does not include any sensitive health information, such as 
medical records or other individually identifiable health information. 
In addition, your comment should not include any ``trade secret or any 
commercial or financial information which . . . is privileged or 
confidential''--as provided by Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 
46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2)--including in 
particular competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales 
statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing 
processes, or customer names.
    Comments containing material for which confidential treatment is 
requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled 
``Confidential,'' and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c). In particular, 
the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the 
comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and 
must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from 
the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). Your comment will be kept 
confidential only if the General Counsel grants your request in 
accordance with the law and the public interest. Once your comment has 
been posted on the public FTC website--as legally required by FTC

[[Page 43133]]

Rule 4.9(b)--we cannot redact or remove your comment from the FTC 
website, unless you submit a confidentiality request that meets the 
requirements for such treatment under FTC Rule 4.9(c), and the General 
Counsel grants that request.
    Visit the FTC website at http://www.ftc.gov to read this Notice and 
the news release describing it. The FTC Act and other laws that the 
Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to 
consider and use in this proceeding, as appropriate. The Commission 
will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it 
receives on or before September 19, 2019. For information on the 
Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the 
Privacy Act, see https://www.ftc.gov/site-information/privacy-policy.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

    The Federal Trade Commission (``Commission'') has accepted, subject 
to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from 
Unrollme Inc. (``Unrollme'').
    The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for 
thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. 
Comments received during this period will become part of the public 
record. After 30 days, the Commission will again review the agreement 
and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw 
from the agreement and take appropriate action or make final the 
agreement's proposed order.
    This matter involves Unrollme's email management service, which 
Unrollme has offered to consumers since at least June 2012. Unrollme 
provides services to consumers to help them manage subscription emails, 
such as newsletters or marketing emails from retailers. During the 
sign-up process, Unrollme requires consumers to grant Unrollme full 
access to the email accounts that they wish to enroll in its services. 
This permission allows Unrollme to access and scan users' inboxes for 
subscription emails to provide its services. Unrollme also provides 
access to its users' email accounts to its parent company, Slice 
Technologies, Inc. (``Slice''). Slice, a market research company, 
accesses Unrollme users' inboxes in order to collect information from 
the users' e-receipts, i.e., emailed receipts from businesses following 
an order or purchase. Slice retains this information, and creates a 
separate database of anonymous purchase information that it uses in its 
market research analytics products.
    After learning that Unrollme requires access to their email 
account(s) during the sign-up process, some consumers declined to grant 
that permission. The proposed complaint alleges that when consumers 
initially declined to grant permission to their email account(s), 
Unrollme violated Section 5 of the FTC Act by making false and 
deceptive statements designed to encourage the consumer to change his 
or her mind and grant Unrollme access to his or her email account(s) 
and continue the sign-up process.
    Count I of the proposed complaint alleges that Unrollme 
represented, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that 
it would not touch users' ``personal emails.'' From at least January 
2015 through November 2015, Unrollme's message to consumers who 
declined to grant Unrollme access to their email stated, ``It looks 
like you clicked No thanks. In order to use Unroll.me, you need to tell 
[your email service provider] to allow us to monitor your emails. Don't 
worry, we won't touch your personal stuff.'' (Emphasis added). From 
November 2015 through October 26, 2016, Unrollme's message to consumers 
who declined to grant Unrollme access to their email stated, 
``Authorization Declined In order to use Unroll.me, you need to 
authorize us to access your emails. Don't worry, this is just to watch 
for those pesky newsletters, we'll never touch your personal stuff.'' 
(Emphasis added). The proposed complaint alleges that these 
representations were false or misleading because Unrollme grants Slice 
access to its users' inboxes, including personal emails in the form of 
e-receipts, which is then used to collect and sell purchase information 
contained therein to third parties.
    Count II of the proposed complaint alleges that Unrollme 
represented, directly or indirectly, expressly or by implication, that 
Unrollme required access to users' inboxes in order to scan for 
subscription emails. From October 27, 2016, through at least September 
2018, Unrollme's message to consumers who declined to grant Unrollme 
access to their email has stated, ``Oops! Looks like you declined 
access'' and ``Unroll.Me requires access to your inbox so we can scan 
for subscriptions and allow you to begin clearing out your inbox.'' The 
complaint alleges that Unrollme failed to disclose, or failed to 
disclose adequately, that Unrollme also grants Slice access to its 
users' inboxes, which Slice then used to collect and sell purchase 
information contained in users' personal emails in the form of e-
receipts and that this fact would be material to consumers in their 
decision to use Unrollme's services.
    The proposed order contains injunctive provisions addressing the 
alleged deceptive conduct. Part I of the proposed order prohibits 
misrepresentations about the extent to which Unrollme accesses, 
collects, uses, stores or shares covered information in connection with 
any product, service or software operated, owned or distributed by 
Unrollme that requires access to consumer emails.
    Part II of the proposed order requires Unrollme to send an email 
notification to all known current users who enrolled in Unrollme's 
services after viewing the challenged statements that explains that 
Unrollme or its parent access or collect email purchase receipts for 
use in market research products that are sold to third parties. The 
required notification is contained in Exhibit A of the proposed order. 
Part III of the proposed order requires Unrollme to delete within 10 
days of the entry of the Order all stored email purchase receipts, and 
all personally identifiable information obtained from those receipts, 
for all known users who enrolled in Unrollme's services after viewing 
the challenged statements.
    Parts IV through VII of the proposed order are reporting and 
compliance provisions, which include recordkeeping requirements and 
provisions requiring Unrollme to provide information or documents 
necessary for the Commission to monitor compliance.
    Part VIII states that the proposed order will remain in effect for 
20 years, with certain exceptions.
    The purpose of this analysis is to aid public comment on the 
proposed order. It is not intended to constitute an official 
interpretation of the complaint or proposed order, or to modify in any 
way the proposed order's terms.

    By direction of the Commission.
April J. Tabor,
Acting Secretary.

Separate Statement of Commissioner Noah Joshua Phillips

    I join my colleagues in supporting this settlement, but write 
separately to highlight the surrounding circumstances, which are 
relevant to the current privacy debate.
    As the complaint alleges, Unroll.me offered a free service that 
helped consumers organize their email inboxes. It supported this free 
service by allowing its parent company to scan consumers' emails for 
purchase-related information, which the parent collected for the 
anonymized market research it

[[Page 43134]]

sells. Until around September 2018, the complaint alleges that, in a 
number of instances, Unroll.me failed adequately to disclose these 
collection practices, which failure violated the law.
    Unrelated to the allegations in the complaint, in late 2018, Google 
announced it would limit third-party apps (like Unroll.me) from using 
the information in Gmail accounts of consumers for purposes such as 
market research or advertising.\1\ Promoted as means to enhance 
consumer privacy, that decision may also limit consumer choice and 
competition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Ben Smith, Project Strobe: Protecting your data, improving 
our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+, Google Safety 
and Security (Oct. 8, 2018), https://www.blog.google/technology/safety-security/project-strobe/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Many millions of consumers see value in Unroll.me's service, which 
helps them manage the barrage of daily emails crowding their inboxes. 
Unroll.me has since removed the allegedly deceptive statements and 
updated its disclosures--consumers may now be better aware of the 
privacy trade-offs, and continue to use the service. For these 
consumers, granting access for the collection of purchase data may be a 
choice worth making. Google's new privacy restrictions threaten to take 
that option away from consumers. That may be good for privacy, but not 
for consumer choice.
    While Google will retain control of and access to the valuable 
purchase and other information about consumers contained in their Gmail 
accounts, other market actors--like Unroll.me and its parent, Rakuten 
Intelligence, a market research firm--may no longer have access. 
Google's restrictions thus potentially ``imperil the business models of 
some popular email extensions,'' \2\ like Unroll.me. That may be good 
for privacy, but not for competition.
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    \2\ Cat Zakrzewski, A small privacy change for Google leads to 
big disruptions for start-ups, Washington Post (Oct. 15, 2018), 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/10/15/small-privacy-change-google-leads-big-disruptions-startups/.
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    I am not suggesting that Google sought to limit consumer choice or 
competition, or that it is violating the law. Consumers are focusing 
increasingly on privacy, and firms like Google may be responding to 
that demand. But this situation highlights an important aspect of the 
privacy debate, i.e., the impact that privacy-enhancing decisions may 
have on consumer choice and competition.
    There is no right answer, and we as a society may very well choose 
limitations on consumer choice and competition to protect privacy. 
Privacy is important. Consumers and policymakers alike must recognize, 
however, that it comes with tradeoffs. And competition enforcers must 
be vigilant, recognizing the potential of privacy efforts negatively to 
impact competition.

[FR Doc. 2019-17815 Filed 8-19-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6750-01-P