Items tagged with FTC

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... Read more...
Last month, the FTC stepped up and said that those "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers were totally illegal and ran afoul of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. The FTC is now back and is telling six companies that they are in violation, giving the firms 30 days to clean up their acts or face potential legal action. The FTC sent letters out to ASUS, HTC, Hyundai, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony, which have all been warned that language on their websites is in violation of U.S. laws. The letters were obtained by Motherboard via a Freedom of Information Act request. The letters state, "This... Read more...
We've all seen those annoying "Warranty Void if Removed" stickers on electronics. They're normally either slapped over a screw silo or wrapped around where two pieces of metal/plastic join together to discourage you (or a third party) from opening up the device to tinker with it yourself. Well, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has now deemed these stickers to be illegal. The FTC says that is has put six major companies on notice for the use of these stickers (among other practices), and say that they violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (MMWA) that provides guidelines for consumer... Read more...
Bad news for AT&T and good news for consumers at large—the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does in fact have authority over the wireless carrier and other common carriers, an appeals court has determined. That means the FTC can dole out punishment to AT&T Mobility for throttling data on its unlimited data plan on the basis that doing so was "unfair and deceptive" to customers. The issue dates back to a lawsuit the FTC filed against AT&T in October 2014 in the US District Court in Northern California. It was the FTC's claim that AT&T advertised unlimited data to... Read more...
Apple and Qualcomm are continuing to fight it out in court over patents and the huge sums of money that go along with licensing them for use in mobile devices today. The most recent turn of events in the Qualcomm vs. Apple case in courts right now came this week when U.S. Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins hit Apple with sanctions for being slow in turning over documents that were requested in the FTC’s lawsuit against Qualcomm. The lawsuit accuses Qualcomm Inc. of forcing Apple to use its chips exclusively inside devices like the iPhone and iPad. The judge in the case has hit Apple with... Read more...
Lenovo had its name drug through the mud back in 2015, and its problems were no doubt self-inflicted. The company was caught preinstalling Superfish adware on hundreds of thousands of its computers that were sold to customers, which was part of an effort to line its pockets with an additional revenue stream. However, it was soon discovered that Superfish also opened customers up to attacks from hackers and exposed their private information. Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has concluded its investigation into the company, and has essentially handed it a slap on the wrist. Superfish’s crown... Read more...
Silicon Valley is pushing back against Washington D.C., and for good reason. A lobbying group representing tech titans such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Microsoft recently released a document in favor of net neutrality. The Internet Association (IA) indicated that it supported the 2015 Open Internet Order. The IA’s report stated, “The internet industry is uniform in its belief that net neutrality preserves the consumer experience, competition, and innovation online. Consumers want and need their internet experience preserved and protected, regardless of the legal or regulatory mechanism.”... Read more...
Apple leveled some pretty serious allegations against Qualcomm earlier this year, citing anticompetitive licensing practices (among other things). The Cupertino, California-based company likened Qualcomm’s practices to extortion and asked for $1 billion in payments that were allegedly withheld. “Qualcomm built its business on older, legacy, standards but reinforces its dominance through exclusionary tactics and excessive royalties,” said Apple back in late January. “We are extremely disappointed in the way Qualcomm is conducting its business with us and unfortunately after years of disagreement... Read more...
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...
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