Tag Archives: FTC

FTC Settles HTC's Failure to Secure Mobile Devices

The FTC settled its claims that HTC sold millions of mobile devices using the Droid and Microsoft software because the devices were not secure. The FTC’s Complaint specifically identified “potential exposure of sensitive information and sensitive device functionality through the security vulnerabilities in HTC mobile devices, consumers are at risk of financial and physical injury … Continue reading this entry

FTC - Tax Tips and More

The FTC reminded consumers to protect against identity theft during tax filing season, and provided a laundry list of precautions to insure that tax information does not fall into the wrong hands including: Make sure that anyone helping you prepare your taxes is trustworthy. File taxes early in the tax season to reduce the window … Continue reading this entry

How will the FTC Deal with the Internet with a New Chief?

FTC Chair Jon Liebowitz is resigning after 4 years during which he “pushed for online privacy protections and sought to restrain unfair competition,” but as the New York Times reported he “stumbled in an attempt to rein in the Internet search practices of Google”: Competitors, advertisers and some consumer advocates had complained that Google manipulated … Continue reading this entry

FTC Concludes that Google Does Not Violate Antitrust Laws

The FTC and Google reached a landmark agreement regarding allegations of antitrust behavior by Google regarding Google search engine. But also the settlement allows competitors of Google’s “on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms – to patents on critical standardized technologies needed to make popular devices such as smart phones, laptop and tablet computers, and gaming … Continue reading this entry

Google US Antitrust Settlement, Not so Fast

Although in mid-December the Washington Post reported that there was an apparent antitrust settlement with Google and the FTC, Google reached out to me to let me know otherwise. Google sent me an email  with a link to former FTC Commissioner Orson Swindle’s article and a Forbes article which I reference below.  Google wanted me to … Continue reading this entry

US Antitrust Problems for Google May be Over

The Washington Post reported that the FTC and Google have reached a deal in the 2 year investigation about monopoly practices where Google “would agree to new limits on its ability to use snippets of content from other Web sites and would agree to make it easier for marketers to transfer their online ads to … Continue reading this entry

Children's Use of Apps - Alarming News About Privacy

The FTC reported that 80% of apps used by children contained the ability to access the Internet (compared to 62% in 2011) and 13% had the ability to access user geo-location (compared to 10.5% in 2011). The New York Times reported: Several hundred of the most popular educational and gaming mobile apps for children fail … Continue reading this entry

Spokeo Fined $800,000 for Violation of FTC Privacy Laws

The NY Times reported that Spokeo was “compiling and selling people’s personal information for use by potential employers in screening job applicants.” For the first time ever, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charged and assessed a fine for use of personal Internet data in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Spokeo confessed that it … Continue reading this entry

Myspace Confesses Failure to Abide by Privacy Laws

Myspace agreed to 20 years of US government oversight of privacy, just like Facebook did in 2011 and Google did in 2010. On May 8, 2012 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a statement about its settlement with Myspace dislosing the following mispresentations which were violations of federal privacy laws : Myspace provided advertisers with … Continue reading this entry

Privacy Update - Carrier IQ Goes to Washington

 Earlier this week Carrier IQ representatives met with officials at the FTC, FCC, and with the staff of a number of Senators. For more details about Carrier IQ please read my eCommerce Times column “Carrier IQ and the US’ Escalating Privacy Risk Level.” The Washington Post reported that Carrier IQ Andrew Coward (senior vice president … Continue reading this entry

Carrier IQ Captures Cell and Internet Usage from Millions without Approval

A researcher recently found that Carrier IQ software is secretly installed on most modern Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia phones. Android developer’s Trevor Eckert’s 17 minute video demonstrates how that Carrier IQ software is loaded on his phone, cannot be disabled, tracks every keystroke, and sends the data to Carrier IQ.  After receiving this massive data from millions … Continue reading this entry

Facebook Confesses Failure to Comply with Privacy Laws

After the US government filed charges that Facebook violated US privacy law, Facebook finally confessed that it failed to protect the privacy of its 800 million active users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) welcomes the public to submit comments on the settlement through December 30, 2011. Under the proposed consent order, which does not include … Continue reading this entry

Are Privacy Policies Being Enforced?

My eCommerce Times column for October is entitled “Shore Up Your Privacy Policy Before Disaster Strikes” and I encourage you to read it. Actually it was published the same day as my blog that more than 7.5 million children under 13 are on Facebook. Since the Federal Trade Commission regulates Internet privacy in the US and … Continue reading this entry

Google Agrees to 20 Years Privacy Policy Oversight by FTC

Not only was Google’s roll out of Buzz in 2010 badly received by the user community, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a Complaint for Google’s violation of its own Privacy Policies:  …Google launched its Buzz social network through its Gmail web-based email product. Although Google led Gmail users to believe that they could choose … Continue reading this entry

Obama Gets Mediocre Privacy Grades

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued its second annual privacy report card with lower grades of “C for consumer data protection efforts and a D on civil liberties.” Mark Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC said "Our bottom-line assessment is that with respect to privacy, things are getting worse.” The EPIC is pleased that President Obama’s … Continue reading this entry

Website Contracts - Does Anyone Care?

Let’s see a show of hands- do you read Terms of Service? Privacy Policies? Or Click Agreements? I routinely ask audiences this question and rarely do I ever get any hands raised. My recent Technology Law column in eCommerce Times entitled “Who Reads Terms of Service, Privacy Policies or Click Agreements?” identifies many legal issues … Continue reading this entry

FTC Settlement - Twitter Barred for 20 Years From Misleading

President-Elect Obama’s Twitter account was hacked “offering his more than 150,000 followers a chance to win $500 in free gas.” Twitter settled the FTC’s charges that “that it deceived consumers and put their privacy at risk by failing to safeguard their personal information, marking the agency’s first such case against a social networking service.” In … Continue reading this entry

No Surprise - Very Bad News for Webmail - Passwords Exposed for Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo!

Apparently large scale phishing attacks resulted in compromises to tens of thousands of webmail accounts, hardly a surprise. However it is pretty amazing that so many individuals fall for the phishing tricks. As a matter of fact this morning I got an email purportedly from PayPal indicating that my account had been hacked and if … Continue reading this entry

Privacy - More Congressional Questions

The US Congress is asking more questions about consumer privacy and email collection/surveillance at a time when President Obama is highlighting cybersecurity. So when asked about consumer’s opt-out from personal data collection, Yahoo! privacy chief’s admitted that fewer than 1% opted-out and Google’s deputy general counsel didn’t even know how many users opted-out. Of course … Continue reading this entry

Social Networking - More Chinese Censorship and More Users

No surprise that the Chinese government blocked social networking on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown at Tiananmen Square. As a matter of fact just before the Olympic Games began in August 2008 China limited Internet access as the government wanted control over information before and during the Games. Many people … Continue reading this entry