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February 2016

Feb 10, 2016

British blues rockers Ten Year After had a hit back in the day with “Hear Me Calling.” We doubt they were thinking of the FTC’s ten-year regulatory review schedule – OK, they weren’t – but it’s likely at least one of...

Feb 9, 2016

Pour yourself a half-caff latte with a drizzle of hazelnut and it’s the next best thing to being there – in Seattle, that is, for the FTC’s third Start with Security event. The webcast begins at 9:30 PT...

Feb 8, 2016

According to the musical “Grease,” some things go together like “rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.” Some other things go together, too. They’re easier to pronounce, but do much more harm to consumers. What do we have in mind?

Bogus weight loss claims and deceptive “free” trial offers...

Feb 5, 2016

To quote everyone’s favorite Vulcan, “Live long and prosper.” But an FTC action against a San Francisco-based app company named Vulcun alleges that’s not what happened...

Feb 2, 2016

Why do so many companies advertise their products as “Made in the USA”?  Because they know that for a lot consumers, it’s an important attribute that may affect their choice of what to buy....

Feb 1, 2016

Take a look at ftc.gov and what’s the first thing we say in the top right and on pretty much every page on the site? File a consumer complaint. Ever wonder where we get those complaints and how we use them?

Many complaints come to us...

January 2016

Jan 28, 2016

At the Federal Trade Commission, we’ve been very public about how we feel about privacy: we want consumers to enjoy the benefits of innovation in the marketplace, confident that their personal information – online and offline – is being handled responsibly.

Today is Data Privacy Day and,...

Jan 28, 2016

Why is it your business if identity theft victims can get free personal recovery plans and other help that makes it easier for them to report and recover from identity theft?  Here’s an answer: Because it’s good business – for you, your customers, your employees, and your community.

...

Jan 28, 2016

Make, model, and cup holders are considerations, of course, but what really matters to a prospective used car buyer is whether the vehicle’s systems check out. It just makes sense, since so many of those systems are tied to safety. But it’s not easy for consumers to tell if they’re buying a...

Jan 27, 2016

According to a lawsuit just filed by the FTC, DeVry University’s ads conveyed to consumers that 90% of its graduates actively seeking employment landed new jobs in their field...

Jan 20, 2016

Data thieves can be as sharp as the Space Needle and as slippery as a salmon thrown by a Pike Place Market fishmonger. OK, those regional references may be a stretch, but it’s a reminder that the FTC’s...

Jan 14, 2016

Experts from around the world have gathered today at PrivacyCon, the FTC’s first-ever confab to discuss the latest in consumer privacy and data security. And it’s much more than just talk. Leading academics and other experts will present new research on five key topics: the state of online...

Jan 7, 2016

When we announced Operation Collection Protection in November, a federal-state crackdown on illegal debt collection practices, we said it was just the start of a...

Jan 6, 2016

For a while now, pundits have been talking about the three V’s of big data: Volume – the vast quantity of information that can be gathered and analyzed; Velocity – the speed with which companies can accumulate, analyze, and use new data; and Variety...

Jan 5, 2016

When a company promises to encrypt dentists’ patient data, but fails to live up to established standards, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the FTC would bristle. A $...

Jan 5, 2016

Ads for Lumosity’s “brain training” program made it sound simple. Play games for 10-15 minutes several times a week to delay memory decline; protect against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease; improve school, work, and athletic performance; and reduce the effects of everything from ADHD to post-...

Jan 4, 2016

Cars are one of the biggest purchases a consumer will ever make. Researching models and options is only part of the process. Prospective buyers also have to consider price negotiations, trade-in, and financing. Since 2011, the FTC has brought more than 25 cases challenging illegal practices in...

December 2015

Dec 31, 2015

2015 saw the end of The Late Show with David Letterman, but his Top 10 List legacy lives on. From the home office in Washington, D.C., here is our informal take on ten topics we covered this year in the BCP Business Blog.

Advertising substantiation.  People will be citing...

Dec 29, 2015

Think of it like Woodstock – minus the mud and the seven-minute solo by Santana’s drummer.

Set for January 14, 2016, PrivacyCon won’t offer “3 days of peace & music,” but...

Dec 22, 2015

If what looks to be an article, video, or game is really an ad – but it’s not readily identifiable to consumers as such – the FTC has another word for it: deceptive. Ads that blur the line between advertising and content have long been a consumer protection concern under Section 5 of the FTC Act...

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