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LeaRN about the modeRNized RN database

During red carpet season, runway commentators invariably ask the question, “Who are you wearing?” Just once we’d like to see a celebrity look at the label, take out their smartphone, and run the information through the FTC’s Registered Identification Number (RN) database. As part of its regulatory reform initiative, the FTC has announced upgrades to rn.ftc.gov that make the system even easier to use.

Fraud alerts vs. credit freezes: FTC FAQs

Consumers are apprehensive about the security of their personal information and recent headlines about data breaches have moved the needle substantially on the -ometer that measures such things. As a business executive, your customers and employees may be coming to you with questions. Here are answers from the FTC about two topics on consumers’ minds: fraud alerts and credit freezes.

How an “invention promotion” outfit demoted the truth

It sounds like there was some “inventing” going on at Florida-based invention promotion firm World Patent Marketing, but a Preliminary Injunction in a case brought by the FTC suggests it wasn’t the kind that unsuspecting consumers bargained for when they forked over millions of dollars based on the defendants’ misleading promises about patenting and promoting their products.

FTC cases affirm commitment to Privacy Shield

The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework has been in place for more than a year and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield went into effect in April 2017. Self-certification programs like Privacy Shield offer benefits to business and protections for consumers. The FTC enforces the promises companies make when they join the frameworks, as well as false claims of participation.

Three FTC actions of interest to influencers

If you have any influence over influencers, alert them to three developments, including the FTC’s first law enforcement action against individual online influencers for their role in misleading practices. According to the FTC, Trevor Martin and Thomas Cassell – known on their YouTube channels as TmarTn and Syndicate – deceptively endorsed the online gambling site CSGO Lotto without disclosing that they owned the company.

Lessons from FTC’s Lenovo case: Pay attention to the man in the middle

The Wizard of Oz was right: “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” That’s because according to an FTC settlement, computer company Lenovo should have been paying attention to the “man in the middle.” In this case, the “man in the middle” was preloaded ad-injecting software that put consumers’ personal information at risk from harmful man-in-the-middle attacks.

Stick with Security: Secure remote access to your network


Ask a business person where their office is located and the likely answer is “everywhere.” They’re working from home, staying in the loop while traveling, and catching up on email between sales calls. For productivity’s sake, many companies give their employees – and perhaps clients or service providers – remote access to their networks. Are you taking steps to ensure those outside entryways into your systems are sensibly defended?

Who won the FTC Criminal Liaison Unit’s Consumer Shield Award? Here’s a clue.

Many historians acknowledge it as the oldest federal law enforcement agency, tracing back to 1772. Benjamin Franklin was integral to its establishment. And the FTC’s Criminal Liaison Unit (CLU) is proud to present one of its employees with the Consumer Shield Award, which recognizes outstanding work by a law enforcement officer in fighting consumer fraud.

Stick with Security: Segment your network and monitor who’s trying to get in and out


Who’s coming in and what’s going out? Businesses that want to stick with security build commonsense monitoring into their brick-and-mortar operations. Whether it’s a key card reader at the door or a burglar alarm activated at night, careful companies keep an eye on entrances and exits.

Ad agency liability: FTC looks to conduct, not the grey flannel suit

According to the “Mad Men” stereotype, you could spot an old-school advertising agency executive by the tailored wardrobe and expense account lunch. A lot has changed in the ad game, but two truths remain: 1) More than 50 years of FTC cases establish that ad agencies may be liable for their role in deceptive campaigns; and 2) Companies that may not describe themselves as “ad agencies” may still be held responsible for illegal acts or practices. In other words, the FTC looks to the facts, not the grey flannel suit.

FTC says Uber took a wrong turn with misleading privacy, security promises

How much information does Uber have about its riders and drivers? A lot. The FTC just announced a settlement addressing charges that the company falsely claimed to closely monitor internal access to consumers’ personal information on an ongoing basis. The FTC also alleges that Uber failed to live up to its promise to provide reasonable security for consumer data.

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