Retailers continue to be targeted by website accessibility lawsuits. Unfortunately, the legal landscape remains unpredictable and it varies greatly based on what jurisdiction a retailer is sued in. There remains no easy fix to prevent litigation. Plaintiff’s lawyers argue that “inaccessible” websites or mobile apps fail to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act or similar state civil rights laws. However, there are no set of detailed website accessibility standards or regulations and instead, the Department of Justice’s position has been that the Americans with Disabilities Act’s general nondiscrimination and effective communication provisions apply to web accessibility. The Department has directed that businesses look to existing technical standards for website accessibility including the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and the Section 508 Standards, which the federal government uses for its own websites. And despite the absence of formal website accessibility standards, the Department has continued to file enforcement actions against businesses who operate websites that it deems inaccessible.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced a new privacy investigative sweep. The AG is sending letters to businesses with mobile apps that have failed to follow the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).…
A new set of California laws will require online marketplaces to gather verifiable identifying information about high volume third party sellers, or else boot them off the platform. The laws, which seek to combat the resale of stolen goods online, call for marketplaces and sellers to ramp up their consumer disclosures around sellers’ identities and options for consumers to report suspected stolen goods. …
The FTC has sent a strong message to industry that it plans to hold companies responsible for using endorsements and customer testimonials that deceive consumers. The recent warning signals the FTC’s focus on fake reviews and endorsements and the agency’s intent to hold brands and advertising service providers accountable where necessary. The agency is paying particularly close attention to how brands communicate with customers through third party influencers on social media.
Continue Reading FTC Signals Plan to Enforce Civil Penalties for Deceptive Endorsements
In today’s COVID-era, more retailers are offering innovative solutions for customers to shop with minimal brick-and-mortar browsing time. Options to place an order online and pick up your items in the store are extremely popular and will likely stick around post-pandemic. These options are convenient and allow customers to avoid dealing with delayed shipping.
Continue Reading Best Practices for In-Store and Curbside Pickup
Overriding the governor’s veto of H.B. 732 (2020), the Maryland Senate on February 12, 2021 passed the nation’s first state tax on the digital advertising revenues pulled in by large companies. This development follows attempts by various other states like New York to directly regulate digital advertising and ecommerce services in new ways. We took a look at the Maryland bill to find out what advertisers – and specifically retailers – need to know about its details and potential pitfalls.
Continue Reading Maryland Breaks Ground with Digital Advertising Tax