When people get the latest software, app, or gizmo, it comes with default settings configured by the company responsible for the product. The FTC’s settlement with Frostwire, a developer of free peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software, raises interesting issues for industry. When can a company’s choice of default settings amount to an unfair practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act? And when can a company’s representations about default settings be considered deceptive?
Like Maria in The Sound of Music, brown paper packages tied up with strings are a few of our favorite things. So it's no surprise that catalog and online shopping has become a time saving essential for millions of Americans.
When a retailer closes its doors, what’s the effect on privacy promises the company made to its customers? The business community and bankruptcy bar have been watching with interest what’s going on in the bankruptcy of former book and video seller Borders. Are you up on the latest developments?
FTC watchers will remember Phillip A. Flora. In the first case of its kind, the FTC alleged that Mr. Flora was a One-Man Message Machine, churning out a “mind-boggling” number of unsolicited commercial text messages pitching mortgage modification services. How many did he send? According to the FTC, <Carl Sagan voice> millions and millions </Carl Sagan voice>.
If you’re one of the businesses nationwide deceived by Oregon-based outfits that peddled questionable debit and credit card processing services, a refund check could be in the mail ranging from $100 to as much as $25,000 — depending on what you paid.
It’s not likely your favorite sommelier stocks it, but Four Loko — a supersized, high-alcohol, fruit-flavored, carbonated malt beverage — is a well-known drink in certain circles.
If you or your clients accept payment by credit or debit card, mark October 1st on your calendar. That’s the day new rules go into effect that could help lower your costs. The rules, part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, cover four areas that could affect the day-to-day operation of your business.
The FTC’s settlement with Reebok requires the company to get their ad claims in shape and works out a $25 million refund program for people who bought EasyTone and RunTone shoes and apparel. Of course, the terms of the lawsuit apply only to Reebok, but experienced advertisers understand the benefits of mining FTC orders for compliance nuggets applicable to their business.
Shape up your substantiation or tone down your ads. That’s the message marketers should take from the FTC’s $25 million settlement with Reebok for false and unsubstantiated claims for the company’s EasyTone and RunTone toning shoes.
If necessity is the mother of invention, bogus invention promotion companies are the sketchy brothers-in-law. That’s why inventors who think they may have that Next Big Thing should investigate thoroughly before signing on with a firm that promises to evaluate, patent, and market an innovation. Some make pie-in-the-sky promises, but serve up crumbs.
According to the Consumer Services Protection Commission’s website, it’s a “National consumer protection agency and works For the Consumer to help avoid fraud, deception, and/or unfair business practices in the financial assistance marketplace.” The site went on to talk about the agency’s role in enforcing the law and educating consumers about how to “spot and avoid fraud and deception.” On the right was a blue and gold logo with the scales of justice and the winged wheel of commerce.
When a major retailer declares bankruptcy, it can be a devastating day. But what about the mounds of customer information the company has compiled over the years? When a company closes its doors, what effect does bankruptcy have on a business’ privacy promises?
If you’re reading this, then you appreciate that a government site can offer timely information, relevant analysis and — on a good day — maybe even a little wit. And your business probably has an interest in data protection, computer security or online marketing. Today, what business doesn’t? So check out OnGuardOnline.gov. The federal government’s site to help you be safe, secure and responsible online has a new blog, a new look, and a few new features.
What can you tell about someone just from their face? Is it possible to take a picture of strangers and find out their name, where they’re from, and maybe even a portion of their Social Security number? Shocking as it sounds, recent research suggests the answer could be yes.
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule took effect more than a decade ago — a lifetime in tech years. That’s why the FTC asked for feedback on whether developments in the online world warranted changes to the Rule.
Launching this year’s We Don’t Serve Teens campaign, the FTC and a coalition of private and public groups have materials available for businesses, parents, and others that support the legal drinking age of 21. If you’re an alcohol retailer — or have clients in the industry — you know that underage alcohol sales are illegal.
According to the ads, if you “carry on with your normal lifestyle” while wearing the Bio-Slim Patch, “repulsive, excess ugly fatty tissue will disappear at a spectacular rate.” (And by you, we don’t mean you, of course.) Promotions for Chinese Diet Tea promised similar miracles: “eliminates an amazing 91% of absorbed sugars,” “prevents 83% of fat absorption,” and “doubles your metabolic rate to burn calories faster.”
It used to be that the biggest issues at back-to-school time were finding everything on the school supplies list and remembering who likes the crusts cut off the brown bag PB&J. But nowadays, responsible adults need to consider the risks if children’s personal information — like a Social Security number on a registration form, permission slip, or health document — winds up in the wrong hands. When kids are victims of identity theft, the crime may go undetected for years. But by the time they’re old enough to get a job or apply for a student loan, the damage has been done.
That email claiming to be from the FTC saying your business has complaints against it? It’s not from us. It’s a malicious hoax that may install malware on your computer if you click on it.
What should you do?
Delete it. Don’t open it. Don’t click the links.