Take out your mobile device where you input all that personal information and make note of three upcoming FTC events where the topic of conversation will be, well, the collection and use of all that personal information. But this time we're switching things up a bit. The FTC's Spring Privacy Series will consist of three two-hour seminars focused on emerging issues that consumers, industry groups, consumer advocates, and academics are starting to talk about.
Blog Posts Tagged with Privacy and Security
In a world where your coffee pot secretly notifies your toaster that you’re ready for breakfast, one agency dares to stand up and ask the question others won’t: Just what are the consumer privacy and security implications?
Remember the cases the FTC announced last year against a software developer and rent-to-own stores that secretly monitored people in their homes? Unbeknownst to consumers, computers came installed with a program called PC Rental Agent. When the software was in “Detective Mode,” companies could remotely activate the camera — meaning they were surreptitiously snapping, transmitting, and storing pictures of anything in the range of the webcam.
App developers, add this to your schedule. On Wednesday, October 23, 2013, the Application Developers Alliance, working with the FTC and the California Attorney General, will present a Mobile Privacy Summit in Santa Monica, California. Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, will kick off a day of panels to help you understand industry best practices and requirements to protect the privacy of mobile app users.
In the words of the old TV show, “Smile. You’re on Candid Camera.” But according to an FTC lawsuit alleging lax security by a company selling internet cameras, for the hundreds of consumers whose private lives were watched online, there was nothing to smile about.
If your clients are focused on data security — and they should be — here’s a development they’ll want to know about. The FTC just filed an administrative complaint against Atlanta-based LabMD. The company does lab work for people across the country when their local doctors send in samples for testing. The primary allegation: that the company failed to reasonably protect the security of consumers’ personal data, including medical information.
Rerun watchers will remember “Welcome Back, Kotter,” a schoolroom sitcom featuring a hummable theme by folk rocker John Sebastian and a cast of smart-alecky students. The character of Juan Epstein was famous for forging excuse notes and permission slips and claiming they were from his mother. What tipped off Mr. Kotter was that the letters always ended with “Signed, Juan Epstein’s Mother.” OK, it’s a stretch, but there’s a connection between that 70s sitcom and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule.
Here’s a newsflash: There’s a troubling amount of inaccurate information in people’s credit reports that can result in the denial of a job, a place to live, and even necessities like groceries and medicine. That’s why the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy.” The FTC’s settlement with Certegy Check Services — which includes the second-largest civil penalty ever in an FCRA case — offers insights into what the law requires.
If you’re the COPPA cop for your company or clients, you know that Complying with COPPA: Frequently Asked Questions (A Guide For Business And Parents And Small Entity Compliance Guide) – close friends call ‘em The FAQs – are an indispensable resource. When FTC staff revised the FAQs a few months ago to reflect changes to COPPA that took effect July 1, 2013, we promised to update them as questions arose. And we’re making good on that promise.
Who should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the collection of personal information online from kids under 13? That’s easy: Parents. To keep up with technology, the FTC revised the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule last year. As a result, some companies that may not have given COPPA much thought in the past are covered as of today — the July 1st effective date of the revised Rule. To streamline your responsibilities, the FTC has a suite of compliance tools designed with business in mind.
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 pot
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).