Items tagged with FTC

There is no doubt that the deal struck between Apple and Amazon to sell the former's iPhone and other products on the latter's online retail platform had a negative impact on some marketplace sellers. To what extent, however, is something the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is now investigating, which could potentially lead to an antitrust complaint. That is getting ahead of things, though. Let's start with the backstory. In November of last year, Apple and Amazon ended a long-standing feud to finally allow Amazon to sell iPhones, iPads, and other Apple products directly, through authorized sellers in the Amazon Marketplace. That in and of itself appeared to be a good thing. However, it was less... Read more...
The day of reckoning has come for Equifax for a massive data breach two years ago, but for consumers hoping for more than a slap on a wrist, prepare yourself for disappointed. Equifax's penalty for failing to secure private information belonging to around 147 million Americans is a fine totaling at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, the Federal Trade Commission announced today. Sure, that is a staggering amount of money when viewed in a vacuum. However, to put that into perspective, it was recently reported that the FTC hammered Facebook with a $5 billion fine as a part of a settlement over numerous privacy mishaps. Many also view that as a slap on the wrist, considering... Read more...
Facebook is no stranger to privacy and security issues; it seems at every turn, a new report is surfacing that claims that some new mishandling of user data has taken place. The most significant privacy outcry Facebook has taken on, happened last year with the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that landed CEO Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress to talk about how the company handles user data. Facebook admitted that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data of 87 million Facebook users and now the FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook on its Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook that amounts to about a $5 billion in fine, according to a person... Read more...
D-Link is finally coming to terms with a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawsuit that was brought against it for serious lapses in security in its networking products. The FTC alleged in its lawsuit that D-Link had left its customers vulnerable to hacks by improperly securing its hardware, not following best practices with regards to login security, and the a rather unforgivable sin of storing passwords in plaintext. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2017, but D-Link and the FTC agreed to a settlement this week. “We sued D-Link over the security of its routers and IP cameras, and these security flaws risked exposing users’ most sensitive personal information to prying eyes,”... Read more...
Qualcomm shares soared when it was announced that it had reached a multi-year deal with Apple to settle the pair's long-running global patent licensing fight. Today, Qualcomm shares are heading the opposite direction after a U.S. judge ruled that the company's patent licensing practices are both unlawful and anticompetitive. QCOM is down 11 percent today as of this writing. The ruling was handed down by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, whose name should be familiar to those that have followed lawsuits involving "big tech" over the past decade. Koh ruled that given its position as the leading supplier of 4G LTE modems found in modern smartphones, it has unfairly backed its customers into... Read more...
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hit Office Depot with a $25 million fine for its part in an expansive scheme to trick customers into paying for oftentimes unnecessary computer repairs. Office Depot used software provided by Support.com to in effect lie to customers about the existence of viruses and malware on their computers. According to the FTC report, Office Depot stores used software called PC Health Check, which was supplied by Support.com. Office Depot offered up the software as a free tool that would tell a customer if their system was compromised by malware. However, according to the FTC, the PC Health Check software presented customers with a “No Win Scenario”, to... Read more...
Facebook had an incredibly rough 2018. The company was rocked by the Cambridge Analytica scanda lthat it initially tried to suppress, but eventually made its way to the light of day. Cambridge Analytica was able to access personal details on nearly 90 million of Facebook customers without their permission. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg CEO Mark Zuckerberg was eventually dragged to Capitol Hill to sit before a congressional firing squad to explain what went wrong, but by all accounts was able to dodge any serious wounds from the well-publicized hearing. Since that time, representatives for Facebook have been meeting with officials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to agree... Read more...
Back in 2017, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a suit against Qualcomm alleging antitrust violations, and only reached trial this week. Odds are that even if the FTC wins the suit against Qualcomm, and licensing fees and royalties that smartphone makers are charged decreased, the smartphone makers would simply pocket the savings and consumers will continue to pay the same prices. While the FTC is accusing Qualcomm of antitrust violations, the price of royalties that Qualcomm charges is 5% of the cost of the device up to $20 per handset maximum. That certainly is a hefty chunk for the smartphone makers, but $20 isn't likely to make a smartphone shopper change their mind about buying... Read more...
Phishing attacks have become one of the most common methods of scamming unsuspecting people out of something - usually money. We may all think we have our guards up to all forms of attacks, but when they can hit us through every form of communication, it's bound to happen to someone. In a recent series of phishing attacks, Netflix and its many millions of customers have been targeted. The risk of damage from this phishing attempt seeking payment information has led the FTC to issue a specific warning about it. The agency also notes simple things you can do you spot a phishing attack: the first step is simply looking closer at such emails. If you simply skim over it, you might become a victim.... Read more...
The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has agreed to investigate the practice of "loot boxes" in video games following a formal request by Senator Maggie Hassan. She had brought up the issue earlier this year, noting that most of her fellow members agreed at the time that loot boxes could use some additional oversight by the FTC. "Loot boxes are now endemic in the video game industry and are present in everything from casual smartphone games to the newest, high-budget video game releases," Senator Hassan said. "Loot boxes will represent a $50 billion industry by the year 2022, according to the latest research estimates. Children may be particularly susceptible to engaging with these... Read more...
Vizio is one of the more popular smart TV makers in the U.S. thanks in part to decent specs and low prices. However, the TV maker found itself in hot water with the FTC in early 2017 over the practice of collecting TV user viewing data without the express permission of the users. While this happened over a year ago, there are still likely some Vizio TV owners out there who have no idea that their watching habits were monitored. That will soon change with Vizio rolling out notifications to affected users via their TVs directly. Last week attorneys working on the case against Vizio asked the judge overseeing the proceedings to extend the time to submit a motion for preliminary settlement. That... Read more...
The backlash against the FCC has been stiff ever since the regulatory agency voted to eliminate the rules back in May 2017. Protestors tried everything to get the FCC to go back on its decision to eliminate the rules, include a “Break the Internet” day but the FCC has plowed on. This year the U.S. Senate voted to repeal the FCC’s decision on killing net neutrality, but this was seen as a largely symbolic victory. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai As of today, the end of net neutrality is official. Under the new rules, internet providers are no longer required to offer equal access to all web content. The rules had previously prevented internet providers from charging more for some... Read more...
Facebook users who are concerned about their privacy may need to worry about more than the apps that they or their friends download. The social media giant purportedly gave over sixty smartphone developers access to Facebook users’ information. Corporations such as Apple, Samsung, Amazon, BlackBerry, and Microsoft have reportedly not only been able to comb through their own customers’ data over the last decade, but the personal information of their customers’ Facebook friends. According to a report by The New York Times, Facebook made agreements with over sixty device makers to give them access to features such as the “Like” button. These arrangements allowed Facebook... Read more...
It didn't take long for Nintendo to bow down to pressure from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with regards to its warranty practices. Back in April, we reported that the FTC has deemed "Warranty Voice if Removed" stickers to be illegal and said that it had warned six companies about anti-consumer warranty policies. We later found out that those six companies were Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, ASUS, HTC and Hyundai. Nintendo is one of the first to step to the plate and publicly state that it will end the practice going forward with its gaming hardware.  Nintendo says that it has added new language regarding its warranty policy that now adheres with the FTC's new guidelines.... Read more...
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