If your clients are focused on data security — and they should be — here’s a development they’ll want to know about. The FTC just filed an administrative complaint against Atlanta-based LabMD. The company does lab work for people across the country when their local doctors send in samples for testing. The primary allegation: that the company failed to reasonably protect the security of consumers’ personal data, including medical information.
So people were taking a few minutes to play the free version of Angry Birds on their Android device. At some point between the Giant Slingshot and the Mighty Eagle, they got a "Virus Detected" warning. But according to an FTC lawsuit, that scary-looking security alert was phony and just a way for Jamster (the court papers use the corporate name Jesta Digital) to place charges on people's cell phone bills without their express consent.
You thought Angry Birds get peeved at those annoying green pigs? That's nothing compared to consumers’ reaction when they found unauthorized charges “crammed” onto their cell phone bills for phony virus scans that showed up when they played Angry Birds on their Android devices. To settle an FTC lawsuit, Jesta Digital LLC — you may know them as Jamster — will give refunds to a significant number of consumers, pay an additional $1.2 million, and change the way they do business.
Rerun watchers will remember “Welcome Back, Kotter,” a schoolroom sitcom featuring a hummable theme by folk rocker John Sebastian and a cast of smart-alecky students. The character of Juan Epstein was famous for forging excuse notes and permission slips and claiming they were from his mother. What tipped off Mr. Kotter was that the letters always ended with “Signed, Juan Epstein’s Mother.” OK, it’s a stretch, but there’s a connection between that 70s sitcom and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Here’s a newsflash: There’s a troubling amount of inaccurate information in people’s credit reports that can result in the denial of a job, a place to live, and even necessities like groceries and medicine. That’s why the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.” The FTC’s settlement with Certegy Check Services — which includes the second-largest civil penalty ever in an FCRA case — offers insights into what the law requires.
It’s not often we can draw a connection between Motown recording artist Freda Payne and an FTC law enforcement action, but here goes: Ms. Payne topped the charts in the 70s with “Band of Gold” and the FTC recently announced a “Banned of Sterling” — a settlement with business opportunity pitchman Christopher Andrew Sterling that will ban him for life from marketing work-at-home promotions.