Blog Posts Tagged with Privacy and Security

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Senior Identity Theft: A Problem in this Day and Age

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.

FTC and CFPB host roundtable on data integrity in debt collection

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).

Updated FAQs to help keep your company COPPA-compliant

A lot has been happening on the COPPA front.  A few years ago, the FTC announced it was taking a fresh look at the Children's Online Privacy Protection Rule to make sure it was keeping up with the times.  Hundreds attended a national workshop to offer their candid assessment of what could be done to improve the Rule.  Then came more than 400 written comments from consumer groups, industry, educators, and parents.  You suggested sensible steps to keep Moms and Dads in the driver's seat about the information companies collect from their kids online while also streamlining compliance for busin

Get smart?

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?

Batten down the patches: Six points to take from the FTC settlement with HTC

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

Device Squad: The story behind the FTC's first case against a mobile device maker

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

Gray matters

When even the #1 movie at the box office is called “Identity Thief,” it’s a topic at the top of everyone’s list.  If you’re in the financial or healthcare sector — or just want to stay up on an emerging issue — find out more about an FTC initiative focused on how identity theft affects a particular segment of your community.

5 top-level takeaways from the FTC staff report on mobile privacy disclosures

To Rat Pack types, "Just in Time" was a swingin' tune Dean Martin sang in the old musical "Bells Are Ringing."  It's still relevant to ringing bells, but now it's in the context of smartphones, tablets — and one of several suggestions the FTC is making to mobile platforms, app developers, ad networks, and others about how and when to disclose key privacy-related information to consumers.  Are you plugged in to what this could mean for your business?

12 tips toward kick-app mobile security

Before you start marketing your app, let’s go through the TO DO list.

Does it deliver on what you say it can do?  Check.
Have you thought through your marketing strategy?  Check.
Does it look like app stores might be interested?  Check.
Ready?  Not so fast.  There’s an indispensible step you may be overlooking.  But there’s good news:  The FTC has 12 tips to make that task easier.

FTC Path case helps app developers stay on the right, er, path

In the few years it’s been up and running, Path has billed itself as a different kind of social network.  According to a description of its "Values," "Path should be private by default.  Forever.  You should always be in control of your information and experience."  It’s a lovely sentiment.  Except that according to an FTC law enforcement action, it wasn’t private by default.  It wasn’t private forever.  Users weren’t in control of their information and experience.  And let’s not forget the alleged violation of the Children’s Online Pr

Bank data security (but not that kind of bank)

You spend a good portion of your time trying to protect sensitive information on your network from high-tech hijackers.  That’s important, of course.  But don’t let it take your eye off the risks posed by good old-fashioned — make that bad old-fashioned — theft.  That’s the message businesses can take from the FTC’s settlement with cord blood bank, Cbr Systems, Inc.

Background screening reports and the FCRA: Just saying you're not a consumer reporting agency isn't enough

You know that phrase “If it quacks like a duck. . . “?  It’s applicable in the Fair Credit Reporting Act context, too.  If a company meets the legal definition of a “consumer reporting agency,” it’s a consumer reporting agency.  Including a disclaimer that says, in effect, “But we’re not a CRA!” won’t change that.  That’s one important takeaway tip from the FTC’s settlement with Filiquarian Publishing, the agency’s first FCRA case involving mobile apps.

FTC's revised COPPA Rule: Five need-to-know changes for your business

It’s not often we describe something as a drop-what-you’re-doing development.  But if you’ve been following proposed changes to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, this may qualify.  After national workshops, Federal Register Notices, and hundreds of comments from the public, the FTC just issued final changes to the COPPA Rule.

Going for broke(r)

Until recently, most consumers — and a whole lot of businesses — were unfamiliar with the operations of the data broker industry.  Data brokers collect personal information from a variety of public and non-public sources and resell it to other companies.  No doubt, there are economic benefits to the flow of certain kinds of information.  But legislators, law enforcers, and others have raised concerns about the privacy implications of what goes on behind the scenes.

Survey says: What FTC follow-up report on kids' apps means for your business

Next time you’re in a long line at the grocery store, watch how parents distract a kid who's feeling cranky.  They used to jangle keys or offer a favorite toy.  But now a lot of Moms and Dads hand them a smartphone with an app designed for children.  As the kids' app market continues to grow, FTC staff issued a report detailing survey results showing that neither app stores nor app developers were giving parents the information they need to figure out what data is being collected from their kids, how it’s shared, and who has access to it.  The report recommended that members of the app indu

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