A savvy business person always wants to know the shape of things to come. We won’t make predictions but, based on the FTC’s case against multi-level marketer AdvoCare International, we will say this: Don’t bet on a business model that looks like a pyramid.
Technology changes at the speed of light, but the touchstone of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule remains constant. When it comes to the collection of their kids’ personal information online, parents are in charge. But how does that principle apply in technologies not originally anticipated by the COPPA Rule?
How do consumers interpret “Made in the USA” and other U.S.-origin claims? What can the FTC do to improve its enforcement program? Those are just two of the topics on the table at today’s Made in the USA workshop. FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith will start the discussion at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. It promises to be a fast-paced, content-packed half-day event. Minutes before the start time, you can watch the webcast live from the workshop webpage.
“He just emailed you! You caught his eye and now he’s expressed interest in you... Could he be the one?”
You’ve probably seen them on TV: announcements with prominent warnings about FDA actions involving certain prescription drugs or medical devices. But they aren’t official health and safety recalls or alerts from the Food and Drug Administration. They’re something else – and FTC staff has sent letters to some of the people involved.
When consumers apply for credit, housing, or employment, consumer reports are often used to help decide whether they can get that loan, apartment, or job. With so much at stake, the accuracy of those reports is of the utmost importance. On December 10, 2019, the FTC and CFPB will host a workshop to discuss issues related to the accuracy of traditional credit reports and background screening reports used by prospective employers and landlords.
Remember Saturday Night Live’s “Coffee Talk with Linda Richman”?
On her Control album, Janet Jackson posed the musical question, “What have you done for me lately?” It’s a fair question for small businesses to ask the FTC and the most recent answer would be “Sent 29,333 refund checks averaging $396 and totaling $11.6 million to companies and nonprofits tricked into paying invoices – unvoices, really – for merchandise they didn’t order.” While we’re on the subject, t
Every spring at colleges across the country, many graduates receive a diploma in their hand – and an albatross around their neck. The burden of student loan debt weighs heavily on American families. And given the pressures on cash-strapped employees, businesses say they’re paying a price in productivity.
Companies and consumers are talking in a different way these days about cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical compound derived from the cannabis plant. But even as the conversation changes, one thing remains the same. Before making claims about purported health effects of CBD products, advertisers need sound science to support their statements.
Do consumers notice consumer class action notices? That’s one of the topics that experts will discuss at an upcoming FTC workshop on issues related to communicating with consumers about class actions.
Had you asked yesterday, we would have said the largest financial remedy for violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act Rule was $5.7 million. Today’s $170 million total monetary judgment against YouTube and its parent company Google raises the stakes when it comes to COPPA compliance. Filed jointly with the New York Attorney General’s Office, the record-breaking FTC settlement offers three primary takeaways for other companies.
For businesses that choose to participate, the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework establishes a process to allow them to transfer consumer data from European Union countries to the United States in compliance with EU law. In return, companies must follow the framework’s requirements.
Colleges are known for team sports, but it’s an unfortunate fact that consumer deception can be a team sport, too. A proposed FTC settlement with Career Education Corporation, American InterContinental University, Colorado Technical University, and related defendants alleges they used illegal game plans to lure consumers to their post-secondary and vocational schools.
We like to think of September 26th as a notable date in consumer protection history. On that day in 1914, the Federal Trade Commission opened its doors. And on that day in 2019, the FTC will convene a workshop on Made in the USA claims.
We tell businesses it’s wise to disclose prices clearly. So it’s only right that we follow our own advice.
The time has come to take a closer look at loot boxes. The FTC’s workshop, Inside the Game: Unlocking the Consumer Issues Surrounding Loot Boxes, begins at 10:00 ET today. Moments before the start time we’ll post a link to the live webcast.
According to musical legend, a buddy of songwriter Jim Weatherly commented that his girlfriend was leaving on the “midnight plane to Houston.” The buddy was Lee Majors of Six Million Dollar Man fame and his girlfriend (and later wife) was actress Farrah Fawcett. Mr. Weatherly filed the phrase away and later used it as inspiration for his megahit, Midnight Train to Georgia.
For members of the videogame industry, loot boxes are no game. They’re a serious part of the revenue stream. But do loot boxes – grab bags of digital goodies bought with in-game virtual currency or real money – raise consumer protection concerns? What about the potential impact on young consumers?
The data that Facebook collects about its users could reveal a lot about users’ personalities. A company named Cambridge Analytica sure thought so. The FTC alleges Cambridge Analytica used false and deceptive tactics to harvest personal information from tens of millions of Facebook users – data later used to profile and target U.S. voters.