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?
Blog Posts Tagged with Privacy and Security
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.
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.
The FTC just announced more settlements with companies that falsely promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure. “Not relevant to our business,” you say? Think again.
OK, now that it’s just us, here’s a reminder that most resources in the BCP Business Center are in the public domain. Thus, according to 17 U.S.C. § 105, they’re not subject to copyright restrictions. (Sorry for the citation. Sometimes we just can’t help ourselves.) So you’re free to download, link, paste, tweet, like, dislike, and otherwise use FTC materials.
There are some combinations that raise immediate compliance issues for responsible businesses — and kids’ privacy and mobile applications are among them. A settlement announced by the FTC — the agency’s first involving a mobile app — sends the important message that consumer protection laws and rules apply with full force in the mobile marketplace.
Maybe your IT staff has sold you on the benefits of new computers. Or perhaps you plan to replace the clunker in the rumpus room in anticipation of the upcoming school year — and it includes your “homework” from the office or personal data like financial information or family Social Security numbers.
Of course, you’ll do your research before investing in a new system. But have you thought about how to securely dispose of your old computer? Before you log off for the last time, make sure your tech trash doesn’t become a fraudster’s treasure.
Savvy executives like to stay in the loop on FTC activities that could affect their industry. They make it a habit to scan the headlines or check for relevant workshops or reports. But there’s a third category of information a bit less understood: closing letters from BCP staff.
In the spirit of transparency, the agency posts them online. Here in the BCP Business Center, recent letters appear in the Compliance Documents section of each topic area.
As businesses executives have noticed, recent changes in the credit laws reflect a move toward more transparency. For example, it’s generally lawful to factor a consumer’s credit history into your decision about what rate to offer them. But last year, the FTC and Federal Reserve Board shed a little more light on that process by implementing the Risk-Based Pricing Rule.
They say life begins at 40 — so watch what’s happening to the Fair Credit Reporting Act as it enters an exciting new phase of its regulatory career.
To mark this consumer protection milestone, the FTC has issued Forty Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting Act: An FTC Staff Report and Summary of Interpretations. The report offers a brief overview of the FTC’s role in enforcing and interpreting the FCRA and includes a section-by-section summary of the agency’s interpretations of the Act.
Perhaps you see cops on the beat when they pass by your office. Maybe you serve on a committee with the Chief of Police or have a relative in the Sheriff’s Department. However you cross paths with local law enforcement, do them — and yourself — a favor by telling them about Consumer Sentinel.
Is your briefcase feeling lighter? That’s because your dog-eared copy of Volume 16 of the Code of Federal Regulations (where most FTC rules and guides live) is decidedly thinner these days. For the past two decades, the agency has undertaken a systematic review of its rules and guides to make sure they’re up to date, effective, and not overly burdensome. As each rule comes up for review, we ask ourselves — and you — four questions:
Today, tech-savvy entrepreneurs use mobile apps to build buzz, save money, and stay in touch on the go. But how can you make sure all those apps you buy protect your privacy, keep your data secure, and wind up costing you exactly the advertised price? OnGuardOnline, the federal government’s online safety and security site, has some questions to consider before you click DOWNLOAD.
Sometimes it’s great to put stuff to more than one use. Think the versatile Swiss Army knife, the iconic Little Black Dress, or the typical elementary school “cafetorium” where kids can eat lunch, shoot hoops, and put on plays. But when what’s at issue is information from people’s credit reports, that kind of double duty can violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act — as the FTC’s $1.8 million settlement with Teletrack, Inc., makes clear.
You have some job openings at your company or maybe you’re thinking of promoting people to new positions. You’ve winnowed that stack of resumes down to some promising candidates. Now it’s nitty gritty time: background checks.
Years ago any conversation about kids’ identities was about sewing name tags in their clothes before they left for summer camp. How times have changed.
But wait! There's more! In addition to the myths about the rulemaking process in the last post, others have suggested misconceptions to include on the list.
“Let the lawyers handle the comments.” Not necessarily. Legal perspectives add to the conversation, of course, but just about every FTC staffer who’s worked on a rulemaking has a story to tell about a practical point raised by a business person or consumer that led to a change in the final rule.
You’ve seen the sentence when the FTC announces that it’s thinking about putting a new rule in place or changing what’s already on the books: “Interested parties are invited to submit comments. . . .”. The alphabet soup of the administrative process can be a bit daunting at first: ANPR (Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), FRN (Federal Register Notice), CFR (Code of Federal Regulations), SBP (Statement of Basis and Purpose). When it comes to the rulemaking process at the FTC, here are six common myths — and the straight scoop.