We can’t figure out why Hollywood hasn’t returned our call, but here's a great idea for an action movie. FTC attorneys go to court to stop a company from illegally billing people for text message-based subscription services they never asked for and didn’t authorize. We even have a can’t-miss title: Crambo.
The people with really cool glasses and fancier gadgets than the rest of us call it "the Internet of Things" — the fact that everyday devices are starting to communicate with each other and with us. Already we can use a smartphone to start the car, turn on the AC before we get home, and have the doctor monitor the trajectory of our blood pressure in traffic. But what if when we drive near a grocery store, our refrigerator lets us know we’re low on milk? Would that be convenient? Disconcerting? Or maybe a little bit of both
It’s time for the FTC to recap the past year for The Boss. (We mean taxpayers, not Bruce Springsteen.) The FTC’s Annual Highlights is in an online format this time — be sure to check out the message from FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez — but it’s still packed with stats 'n' charts to show what we’ve been doing to protect America’s consumers.
The Funeral Rule establishes some basic requirements that apply to all funeral providers. Who’s considered a funeral provider? Any business that sells funeral goods and funeral services to the public, including funeral directors, funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories, among other businesses.
One key provision requires those covered by the Rule to give potential clients a written price list of the goods and services their business provides. The Rule also spells out some practices that are not allowed. For example, it is not permitted to:
Funny thing about the Fair Credit Reporting Act: It’s been around since 1970, it’s broad in scope, and yet a lot of businesses with obligations under the law may not be focusing on compliance. Warning letters the FTC just sent to six companies in a particular line of work underscore the need to double-check your FCRA responsibilities.
If this were a video blog, you'd see us doing that “Wayne’s World” gesture of admiration to our two new favorite people, Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss. And just what did they do to warrant our (and your) appreciation?
Consumers have made it clear: They want to know what their apps are up to. And when it comes to apps for kids, italicize that, put it in ALL CAPS, and multiply by 10. That’s why the FTC has released a new way of letting parents know just what their kids’ apps may be doing. Savvy app developers will want to take a look, too.
If you want to know which flix’s tix made for major boffola at the box office, you’ll have to consult the entertainment trade press. But a recent FTC “mystery shopper” survey offers other insights for your clients in the movie, music, or videogame industry.
Fair Guide. Is it a list of consumer protection laws? With summer coming, maybe ratings of the best funnel cakes and Ferris wheels? Forgive the flight of fancy, but we see it as a great title for a compendium of blog posts about business compliance. But that’s not what it is — not by a longshot.
In some ways, think of it as “faux faux fur.” No, that’s not a typo. It’s what results when national retailers advertise items of apparel as fake fur, when in fact, they contain, well, fur. Those are just some of the allegations in recent FTC complaints against The Neiman Marcus Group, Inc., DrJays.com, Inc., and Eminent, Inc. (which shoppers may know as Revolve Clothing).
The mobile apps market is thriving and lots of app developers are striving to be players in the game. If you’re developing apps for smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, there are some basic truth-in-advertising standards and privacy principles that apply to you.
Paper, Plastic, . . . Mobile? The question isn’t about how you bag your groceries — it’s about how you pay for them. Are you going to use cold hard cash?
Do you like them on the screen
Of your mobile phone machine?
I do not like text message spam.
I do not like them, Sam I am.
The FTC just accepted final settlements with two of the largest paint manufacturers in the country — Sherwin-Williams and PPG Architectural Finishes. The complaints charged that the companies made deceptive “zero VOC” claims for their Dutch Boy Refresh and Pure Performance brands. But along with the settlements, the FTC issued an Enforcement Policy Statement that's a must-read if you're thinking about making similar claims and want to comply wit
This is National Consumer Protection Week, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.
‘Tis the season for the entertainment industry to hand out statuettes for notable achievement. It’s also the time of year when the FTC singles out industries "nominated" by consumers for actions of a less admirable nature. According to the just-released Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, the FTC received more than 2 million complaints from consumers in 2012 — the most ever. What industries show up on the one Top 10 list that companies want to avoid?
By now, you’ve read about the FTC’s settlement with HTC — the agency’s first law enforcement action against a mobile device manufacturer. According to the complaint, when HTC customized the operating systems used on many of its products, it introduced security vulnerabilities that put users’ sensitive information at risk. In addition to requiring implementation of a comprehensive security program, the
HTC America is a leading manufacturer of smartphones and tablets using the Android, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems. The company’s motto is “quietly brilliant.” But based on an FTC lawsuit challenging the company's security practices, consumers might be surprised to find out their devices have also been “quietly vulnerable.” To settle the case — the FTC’s first against a device manufacturer — HTC has agreed to a far-reaching settlement that imposes a first-of-its-kind remedy: patching vulnerabilities on millions
“Payment processing” used to involve standing in the checkout line and handing the cashier your pennies. (Remember checkout lines? Remember cashiers? Remember pennies?) In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that Ideal Financial Solutions and more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants used an “intricate web of concealment” to game the payment processing system in a way that resulted in more than $25 million in unauthorized credit card charges and bank account debits.