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New York Firm Settles False Claims Of Participation In EU-U.S. Privacy Shield

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A New York-based security services company, T&M Protection Resources LLC, agreed to settle allegations by the Federal Trade Commission that it falsely claimed participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield allows companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when they transfer personal data from the EU to the U.S. in support of transatlantic commerce.

The framework was designed by the U.S. Department of Commerce and the European Commission.

T&M Protection Resources is a provider of security and investigative services, including background check services.

The FTC alleged in its complaint that T&M continued to falsely claim its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield despite the lapse of its certification.

In addition, the company did not annually verify the accuracy of the statements about its Privacy Shield practices. It also did not affirm whether it would continue to apply Privacy Shield protections to personal information it collected while participating in the program, the FTC said.

The Commission unanimously voted 5-0 to issue the proposed administrative complaint and to accept the consent agreement with T&M.

T&M is prohibited from misrepresenting its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework.

It is also prohibited from any other privacy or data security program sponsored by the government, or any self-regulatory or standard-setting organization.

Further, T&M must either continue to apply the Privacy Shield protections to the personal information it collected while participating in the program, or it must return or delete the information.

In December 2019, the FTC had reached settlements with four other companies over allegations that they falsely claimed certification under the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

Two of these companies were also alleged to have falsely claimed certification under the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

The four companies are website and mobile app services provider Click Labs, service award and incentive programs developer Incentive Services Inc., data storage and recovery services provider Global Data Vault LLC, and IT services provider TDARX Inc.

As part of the settlements with the FTC, the four companies are prohibited from misrepresenting their participation in any privacy or security program sponsored by a government. They also cannot participate in any program sponsored by a self-regulatory or standard-setting organization.

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