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 today (12:30 ET) and you can watch from your desk.
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.
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 to consumers. According to the complaint, the company hit customers with an unfair and deceptive switcheroo of galactic proportions.
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. The FTC has filed suit alleging that Chemence, Inc., falsely claimed that certain of its glue products were “Made in the USA” – or even “Proudly Made in the USA.”
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?
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.
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.
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 lemon or a creampuff. Many dealers try to assuage that concern by advertising that their used cars have passed multi-point checks.
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 of study within six months of graduation. You can say this about DeVry: The company has been remarkably consistent in driving home the “90%” marketing message to prospective students in print and TV ads, online campaigns, brochures, and other advertising.
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 Start with Security road show is heading to Seattle on February 9, 2016 – and the agenda is now available.
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 privacy, consumer expectations, big data, the economics of privacy and security, and security and usability.
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 historic partnership – and we weren’t kidding.
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 – the breadth of data companies can analyze effectively.
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 $250,000 proposed settlement with Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc., and a new FTC video remind companies to brush up on security-related data hygiene.
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-traumatic stress disorder. But an FTC complaint alleges that defendant Lumos Labs didn’t have sound science to support those claims. What’s the message for marketers?
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 this area.
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.
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 the FTC is bringing together some of the most intriguing thinkers from universities and think tanks around the world to present 19 original studies on privacy-related topics.
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.
When consumers updated Java SE, which has been installed on more than 850 million computers, Oracle Corporation promised “safe and secure access to the world of amazing Java content” and stated that the updates had “the latest . . . security improvements.” But according to a settlement just announced by the FTC, when it came to those security updates, Java SE was pouring decaf.