"You’ve reached the FTC. Sorry we’re not able to take your call right now. But if you’re Expert Global Solutions — the biggest debt collection operation in the world — please pay a $3.2 million civil penalty, the largest ever from a third-party debt collector, and start honoring the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Oh, and at the sound of the tone, please don’t leave a voicemail illegally disclosing that a person owes money." BEEP.
Who should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the collection of personal information online from kids under 13? That’s easy: Parents. To keep up with technology, the FTC revised the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule last year. As a result, some companies that may not have given COPPA much thought in the past are covered as of today — the July 1st effective date of the revised Rule. To streamline your responsibilities, the FTC has a suite of compliance tools designed with business in mind.
Yesterday’s 10th anniversary of the National Do Not Call Registry was a good time to reflect on a decade of progress. But to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson (or Patrick Henry, Irish statesman John Philpot Curran, or whoever else said it), eternal vigilance is the price of an uninterrupted dinner hour. A record-setting $7.5 million settlement with a national mortgage broker demonstrates the FTC’s commitment to the fight against
To etiquette purists, the 10th anniversary dictates gifts of metal. So to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the National Do Not Call Registry, the FTC presents this iron-clad guarantee: You can count on us to continue to take action against companies that violate the Telemarketing Sales Rule, as today’s $7.5 million civil penalty — the largest ever collected in an FTC Do Not Call case — demonstrates.
When users type something into a search engine and hit enter, what shows up on the screen next? Is it the natural result of their search or is it advertising? If they get natural results and ads, is it clear to consumers which is which? Following up on efforts to update guidance to digital advertisers, including revisions to .com Disclosures and the
The Telemarketing Sales Rule outlaws a variety of deceptive practices. But liability isn’t limited just to the companies that place the calls or the marketers that hire them. It’s also illegal to “provide substantial assistance or support” to a seller or telemarketer when you know or consciously avoid knowing they’re violating the Rule. A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit unpacks that portion of the
We’d invite you to uncork the bubbly in honor of National Small Business Week, but most small business owners are too busy minding the store to take a celebratory break. So instead, we’ll recap what the FTC is doing to streamline compliance responsibilities for smaller companies.
If you have a really smart smart device, it’s probably already told you. But here’s the news anyway: The new date for the FTC’s Internet of Things workshop is November 19, 2013. The workshop will cover the consumer protection implications now that everyday devices have started to communicate with us and with each other. To quote SNL’s Linda Richman, “Tawk amongst ya-selves” about how to weigh the privacy and security risks against pot
If you report information about consumers to consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) — like a credit bureau, tenant screening company, or check verification service — you have legal obligations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act's Furnisher Rule.
Three FTC cases, 83 civil actions brought by 28 states, more than 184 defendants facing criminal charges in cases filed by federal and local prosecutors, and 25 actions brought by agencies in 10 other countries. If you’re unclear on whether law enforcers are presenting a united front against travel-related fraud, then we have some oceanfront property to sell you.
A recent comment the FTC filed with the Marine Stewardship Council about the Council’s certification program for fisheries offers a line on the importance of consumer perception when issuing environmental seals and certifications.
There's "Life of Pi" and "Life of Brian," Boswell’s “Life of Samuel Johnson,” the sitcom “Life of Riley,” and the Beatles’ ground-breaking “A Day in the Life.” We view Life of a Debt: Data Integrity in Debt Collection, a roundtable hosted by the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), as pretty ground-breaking, too. And the topic — the flow of consumer data through the debt collection process — should attract the interest of your clients in the financial field.
Is there a more "apple pie” issue than mobile security? It’s hard to come up with one. That’s because a safe environment for mobile commerce is critical to the continued growth of that marketplace — and because you haven’t torn yourself away from your mobile device since you huffed and puffed to the Spice Girls at step aerobics class in ’99.
Never let it be said that the FTC doesn’t have your back — or sleeve, cuff, waistband, or wherever else you find the label that discloses the kind of fabric a product is made of. If your business touches on textiles, you’re familiar with the requirements of the Textile Fiber Products Identification Act and the FTC’s accompanying Textile Rules. Are you in the loop o
We’re not one to loft accolades in the direction of fraudulent telemarketers, but we’ll say this about them: They’re a quick study when it comes to using new technologies and business methods to their shady advantage. As part of its ongoing effort to protect consumers from deceptive telemarketing, the FTC is proposing amendments to the Telemarketing Sales Rule that would curtail the use of certain kinds of payments that have become fast favorites among fraudsters.
We've been patient. It's been years since "Star Wars" came out and we still don't have a gold-plated droid to do our bidding. But companies have introduced a slew of "smart" products that perform a lot of the same functions.
Today’s Business Blog post is brought to you by the letters C-O-P-P-A. If your website or online service is covered by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, you’re readying your business for the changes that go into effect on July 1, 2013. For the benefit of those looking for a compliance refresher, the FTC just sent out letters to more than 90 companies that may be affected by the revision to the Rule.
Lending a helping hand is great when you’re talking about a barn raising, a rent party, or assisting a little old lady across the street. But when the activity in question is, well, questionable — like selling businesses technology that can be used to place illegal robocalls — companies need to make sure they’re not assisting and facilitating violations of the law. That’s one message your clients should take from the FTC’s settlement with Skyy Consulting, which also does business under the name CallFire.
Have you marked your calendar for July 1, 2013? As the FTC announced in December 2012, that’s the date revisions to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule take effect. If COPPA compliance is on your “to do” list, you’ll want to stay in the know about two related developments.