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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?