ftc

Wed
09
Oct
John Lister's picture

Twitter Accused of Data Violation in Ad 'Mix Up'

Twitter has apologized for using customer security contact details for advertising purposes. Its underwhelming announcing has gone down badly with privacy groups and could have legal consequences. The blunder involved Twitter's advertising services, ... specifically tools called "Tailored Audiences" and "Partner Audiences." It works like this: advertisers upload their own marketing lists of email addresses and phone numbers to Twitter, along with an ad. Twitter then compares the marketing list to its own database of customers. It then shows the ad only to people who appear on ... (view more)

Tue
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube's Under-13 Policy In Question

Consumer groups say YouTube is breaking the law by collecting data about pre-teens without parental permission. They've asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate. The alleged breach is of the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act ... (COPPA), a federal law that significantly restricts the way sites can handle data about users aged under 13. That's why many major websites that have user accounts officially ban pre-teens from signing up with their services. That's not quite the case with YouTube. Users do have to be 13 or older to get a Google account, which is necessary for some ... (view more)

Thu
06
Apr
John Lister's picture

Amazon to Refund up to $70M for In-App Purchases

Amazon is to refund up to $70 million of in-app purchases made by children without their parents' permission. It follows a hearing where a court previously agreed that the way Amazon's purchasing system worked was inherently unfair. The case was ... brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FCC) back in 2014 , and relates to so-called "freemium" apps on the Kindle Fire and some other Android devices. The word freemium is a portmanteau for "free" and "premium" and is often used to describe an app that would normally cost money, but instead includes ads or an ... (view more)

Wed
08
Feb
John Lister's picture

Smart TV Maker Spied on Viewing Habits, Sold Data

Vizio is to pay $2.2 million in fines after tracking viewing habits on 11 million smart TVs without their owners' knowledge or permission. They then sold the details, including personal information, to advertisers. As part of a settlement, Vizio has ... now agreed to inform customers about the practice and promises to always get their express consent before tracking any viewing. It will also have to delete much of the data it has already collected. Vizio had relied on the idea that customers retained enough control because there was a setting named "Smart Interactivity" that could ... (view more)

Tue
10
May
John Lister's picture

Phone Manufacturers, Carriers Under Security Probe

Two government agencies are investigating the way smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers issue security updates for devices. They say they are particularly worried about older devices being left unpatched. It's a rare joint probe by both the ... Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). While the FCC usually handles issues relating to the Internet and smartphones, the FTC usually only gets involved in cases of misleading advertising or unfair contracts. That may suggest officials are exploring whether companies have overstated the security their ... (view more)

Wed
26
Aug
John Lister's picture

Should Companies be Accountable for Leaked Customer Data?

Companies that don't do enough to protect customer data against hacking are more likely to be sued, thanks to a court ruling this week. A federal appeals court rejected an argument that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) overstepped its powers by ... suing a company over three hacking incidents. The company is question is the Wyndham Hotel chain, in which 619,000 customers' credit card data was leaked. According to the FTC, Wyndham failed to use suitably complex login details on accounts, stored card data on its servers in unencrypted form, and did not use adequate firewalls to protect the ... (view more)

Wed
28
Jan
John Lister's picture

FTC: Smart Gadgets a Huge Security Risk

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned that the boom in Internet-connected home gadgets could increase security risks significantly. It's put together consumer advice and says it will work on applying the law to this new area of tech. The FTC ... has published a report on the " Internet of Things ". That's something of a vague term, but the commission defines it as any physical object that can connect to the Internet. Today, the Internet of Things doesn't simply apply to computer and smart phones -- it also applies to billions of other objects, including cameras, home ... (view more)

Mon
14
Jul
Brandon Dimmel's picture

FTC Files Lawsuit Over Amazon Purchases by Kids

The United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) thinks Amazon.com should be on the hook for unauthorized purchases made by children while using apps on their smartphones, tablets, and even computers. In a recent complaint filed in a U.S. court, the ... FTC says parents whose children made unauthorized purchases should receive refunds from Amazon. The problem surrounds free-to-play games that are easily downloaded onto mobile devices; such games typically start out with a basic character and story, but then require players to make expensive (though easy to complete) 'purchases' in order to see ... (view more)

Wed
07
May
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Microsoft: 'Windows Support' Phone Scams on the Rise

Microsoft says the number of telephone scams involving fake Windows support technicians is on the rise. That means more criminals are executing schemes designed to dupe legitimate Windows users out of their hard-earned money. Most of the scams ... involve cold callers claiming to work for Microsoft. In this scenario, the victim is told that their computer is infected with some kind of damaging malware. Based on this author's experience, oftentimes the calls originate overseas - usually from India, with the caller having a thick accent. Scammers Sell One-time or Subscription-based "Solutions ... (view more)

Thu
19
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Florida Text Message Scammers Busted by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled a case against a firm accused of sending 42 million bogus text messages. The texts falsely claimed recipients had won gift cards. An example of the texts, published by the FTC, reads "Dear Walmart ... shopper, your purchase last month won a $1000 Walmart Gift Card, go to www.vCardSpot.com within 24 hours to claim. (NO2cancel)." Similar messages mentioned other retailers, including Best Buy and Target. Not only were the claims completely false, but the retailers mentioned had no involvement in or knowledge of the texts. (Source: nbcnews.com ) ... (view more)

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