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 po
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
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.
Shakespeare coined the line in The Merchant of Venice. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant referred to it in Stairway to Heaven. And now it's one of the topics up for discussion at an FTC Roundtable on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. Any guesses?
"All that glitters is not gold."
Those people who approached you to buy information about consumers and said they needed it for things like determining creditworthiness, suitability for employment, or eligibility for insurance? They may really have been FTC staffers checking if companies were complying with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
When it comes to older consumers, the usual anti-identity theft advice still applies. But as we get older, we’re more likely to receive government benefits, visit the doctor regularly, or ponder a move to Del Boca Vista Phase 3 — lifestyle changes that may present different kinds of ID theft concerns. Sure, it's an important topic for older consumers and their families. But if you have clients in the financial services, healthcare, or residential care sector, an upcoming FTC workshop will help them focus on what this means for businesses, too.
We’ve been saying it for years: “What the headline giveth, the footnote cannot taketh away.” The same holds true for the dense block of text, the hidden-away reverse side, the vague hyperlink, or any other place the FTC has warned advertisers may not meet the standard for “clear and conspicuous” disclosure. A recent settlement involving long distance phone cards emphasizes what’s not so fine about fine print.
When the topic turns to debt collection, some people assume the only thing that changes hands is money. But there’s another important consideration: the life cycle of consumer information as it flows through the debt collection process. That's the subject of Life of a Debt: Data Integrity in Debt Collection, a June 6, 2013, roundtable co-hosted by the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Law enforcers hate ‘em, legitimate businesses hate ‘em, and consumers — well, they really hate ‘em: unauthorized charges that show up on people’s cell phone bills. It’s called mobile cramming and The Good Guys are united in finding answers to the problem.