Items tagged with FTC

Many American congressman are determined to overturn the “midnight regulations” of the previous administration. The United States Senate’s latest bill proposal would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s rules and allow ISPs to share private data without the consent of the consumer. Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, remarked, “The FCC's midnight regulation does nothing to protect consumer privacy. It is unnecessary, confusing, and adds yet another innovation-stifling regulation to the Internet. My resolution... Read more...
Vizio has agreed to pay a $2.2 million fine after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New Jersey Attorney General busted the company for using its internet-connected Smart TVs to automatically track the viewing habits of 11 million customers on a continual basis. The information gleaned from customers was then beamed back to the company’s servers without consent. In addition, Vizio was found to be collecting IP addresses, and then sharing that information with data aggregators in order to match the address with a particular household. “Vizio’s contracts with third parties prohibited the re-identification... Read more...
Two more robocallers have bitten the dust. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has just filed complaints against two robocall organizations that have allegedly helped to make billions of robocalls between March 2009 through May 2016. Many of the calls were to numbers on the “Do Not Call” Registry. The two main defendants in the complaints are Justin Ramsey and Aaron Michael Jones. Ramsey is purportedly an officer of Data Guru LLC, Tailbone Security LLC, and Prime Marketing LLC. Jones, who is also known as Michael Aaron Jones and Mike Jones, has claimed to be the officer, owner, and manager of at... Read more...
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a lawsuit against D-Link alleging that the company's failure to properly secure its line of wireless routers and webcams left thousands of customers "vulnerable to a range" of cyber attacks, including those that turned customers' PCs into major parts of numerous botnets. It is a similar suit to the one that ASUS settled with the FTC nearly a year ago. "Defendants have failed to take reasonable steps to protect their routers and IP cameras from widely known and reasonably foreseeable risks of unauthorized access, including by failing to protect against... Read more...
Is this real life or an Orwellian nightmare? You might want to think twice before purchasing a MyFriend Cayla or i-Que Robot. The smart toys have been accused of sending information to the Massachusetts-based company Nuance Communication. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and Consumers Union filed a complaint against Genesis Toys and Nuance Communication with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this morning. The MyFriend Cayla and the i-Que Robot used voice recognition to listen to the children... Read more...
Earlier this week, WhatsApp made the surprising move to begin sharing user information with its parent company, Facebook. WhatsApp's original stated goal was to know “as little about you as possible”, but that mantra seems to have been thrown out the window in an effort to further increases Facebook’s booming mobile ad revenue. WhatsApp didn’t make any qualms about the benefits of such a move, writing on Thursday, “By connecting your phone number with Facebook's systems, Facebook can offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads if you have an account with them. For example, you... Read more...
When it comes to the often slow pace of security updates being pushed to the mobile devices that are at center of our daily digital lives, both the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are looking for some answers. The FCC is taking U.S. wireless carriers (like AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile) to task while the FTC has hit up top hardware manufacturers including Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, and HTC. At a time when U.S. intelligence agencies like the FBI and NSA are looking for ways to use vulnerabilities to their advantage to solve crimes... Read more...
There have been several high profile security breaches over the last couple of years, and in many instances, cyber thieves were able to extract personal information of their target's customers. Usually this resulted in the company offering a free year of identity theft protection to those affected, though in the future, firms may not get off quite so easily. A lower court ruling from 2014 giving the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) the authority to regulate cyber security was upheld recently by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia by a 3-0 vote. Following the ruling, the FTC may... Read more...
The Federal Trade Commission has left its stamp on the crowdfunding scene by taking legal action against Erik Chevalier, the Kickstarter project creator who raised more than $122,000 funds from 1,246 backers to produce a board game called The Doom That Came to Atlantic City. In the end, it was the backers who were doomed, as the project was cancelled without any refunds. Chevalier, who was also doing business as The Forking Path Co., issued a number of updates on the Kickstarter project saying that progress was being made. After 14 months, however, he announced that the project was cancelled and... Read more...
Give RadioShack credit, the iconic electronics chain lasted nearly a century and survived part of the Internet era before ultimately filing for bankruptcy. However, the chain's impressive 94-year run doesn't give it a free pass to treat customer data like an asset, or so that's the stance the Federal Trade Commission is taking. The FTC sent a letter (PDF) to the court appointed consumer privacy ombudsman in RadioShack's case. In the letter, FTC direct Jessica L. Rich notes that RadioShack is in possession of personal information for over 117 million customers, information that includes names, addresses... Read more...
The FTC has just laid the smackdown on yet another company that's been found guilty of exploiting mobile users without their knowledge. The FTC found that the company, called Nomi Technologies, even went against its own privacy policy mere months after it promised not to, in late 2012. Nomi's business model involves working with retail outlets to install sensors in their stores. As a customer walks in, these sensors fetch a phone's MAC address, which is broadcast broadcast via Wi-Fi, and begin to track it. You can see where this is going. With information in-hand, Nomi is able to tell these retailers... Read more...
As we’ve shown in the past, the FTC doesn’t take too kindly to “unlimited” data plans that are anything but. Companies like AT&T and Verizon Wireless still honor grandfather unlimited data plans, and in the past have throttled customers once they reached a certain threshold (5GB in the case of customers on AT&T’s wireless network). However, prepaid carrier TracFone has caught the wrath of the FTC for not only throttling customers on plans that were marketed as unlimited, but also not making it plainly clear that customers would be throttled for going over certain fixed limits within a billing... Read more...
Dish Network is in hot water with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for outright violating the agency's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including the "Do Not Call" registry, by placing tens of millions of unsolicited calls to numbers that appear on the list. In all, Dish Network and its retail partners made some 57 million unauthorized outbound calls. The FTC is holding Dish Network responsible for illegal calls made by its vendors to numbers on the DNC registry since Dish retained the retailers, authorized the retailers to market Dish products and services, and because the retailers... Read more...
AT&T agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to the tune of $105 million in early October for its part in a “cramming” scheme that bilked customers out of millions of dollars. Cramming refers to any unauthorized charges on a customer’s cell phone bill, and typically come in the form of unsolicited text messages. Today is T-Mobile’s turn, as it has agreed to a settlement with the FTC and will pay at least $90 million. That sum will be compromised mostly of consumer refunds, but $18 million will go towards fines and penalties owed to all 50 states and $4.5 million will go directly... Read more...
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