For some businesses, virtual worlds aren’t on their radar screen. They have their hands full with this one, thanks. But for more and more people — including kids — online virtual worlds have become a central place for gaming and other activities. As the FTC’s recent $3 million settlement with Playdom and Howard Marks demonstrates, companies with an online presence need to take care to comply with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and the
Blog Posts Tagged with Privacy and Security
With a corporate name like Lookout, it pays to — well — look out. Unfortunately, according to the FTC’s complaint against Lookout Services, Inc., the company’s questionable security practices left the door open for an employee of one of Lookout’s customers to access sensitive information, including Social Security numbers, of thousands of people.
The French movie classic “The Wages of Fear” — remade in 1977 as “The Sorcerer” by American director William Friedkin — was a taut thriller about a team of toughs transporting a payload of volatile nitroglycerine to a remote location in South America. They meet with hazards along the way: a rope bridge hanging by a thread over a flood-swollen river, a boulder blocking a twisted mountain path, and a stretch of road so pot-holed it’s called “The Washboard.”
Busy business executives and the attorneys who represent them need to unwind now and then. If PlayStation is your diversion-of-choice — or the choice of family members — you’ve probably heard the news that Sony’s PlayStation Network and Qriocity service were hacked and that user data may have been compromised. It’s not clear right now what info was stolen, but the services held user IDs and passwords, email addresses, birth dates, street addresses, credit card numbers, expiration dates, and payment histories. Are you taking steps to reduce the risk of ID theft as a result of the hack? H
Those were the allegations in the FTC’s complaint against Google. What changes will the agency’s proposed settlement bring about at the company?
As any business knows, it is indeed a small world after all. And the FTC’s recent settlement with Google related to the launch of its Google Buzz social network demonstrates why it’s important for companies to think about the global ramifications of their privacy practices.
According to the FTC’s recent settlement with Google, when people declined to sign up for Google Buzz, the company’s new social network, Google nonetheless enrolled them in certain features without their consent.
But what about people who clicked the link that said “Sweet! Check out Buzz”? The FTC’s complaint alleged that they, too, weren’t adequately informed that certain information that had been private — including the people they chatted with or emailed most often — would be shared publicly by default.
According to news reports, hackers recently accessed the database of Epsilon, a large marketing company that sends emails on behalf of banks, stores and other businesses. Was your company an Epsilon client? If so, the stolen information could make it easier for crooks to send emails that appear to be from your brand.
Here are a few things you can do to help your customers avoid a phishing attack that abuses your brand.
“Sweet! Check out Buzz.”
“Nah, go to my inbox.”
That was the intriguing choice facing Gmail users last year when Google launched Google Buzz, its social network. But according to a settlement announced this week by the FTC, the company violated the privacy promises it made to Gmail users and used deceptive tactics in the Buzz rollout.
As your customers' buying habits make clear, today’s consumer marketplace knows no borders. That’s why the FTC and officials from nine Latin American countries are meeting in Washington, D.C., this week to consider the challenges of global consumer protection.
Following the ongoing discussion about behavioral advertising? The FTC’s first online behavioral advertising case against a network advertiser offers insights into the agency's approach.
Consumers have found their voice. And last year they raised it more than 1.3 million times to complain about identity theft, fraud, and products that didn’t live up to the advertising hype.
Break out the bubbly and raise a toast: It's National Consumer Protection Week. NCPW is an annual campaign sponsored by the FTC and nearly 30 other federal agencies, consumer groups, and advocacy organizations, in conjunction with state, county, and local government offices that are sponsoring events nationwide. The goal? To encourage consumers to take full advantage of their rights and make better-informed decisions.
Of course, no legitimate business would put out a welcome mat for crooks. But as the FTC’s data security cases make clear, that’s the effect when companies fail to take reasonable steps to secure sensitive information in their possession — or data they allow others to access. Three recent settlements with companies that resell credit reports illustrate that point.
Whether you’re waiting to board an airplane or grabbing a quick cuppa at a neighborhood café, public wireless networks are a great way for busy professionals to keep connected.
Convenient? Yes. Secure? Mmm, not so much.
Unfortunately, most hotspots don’t encrypt what goes over the internet. So if you send email, manage your calendar, use social networks, or transmit financial data while using a public network, you make it easier for hackers to lift confidential info like user names, passwords, and account numbers.
If you work in the health care or HR field or have clients who do, you’ve probably run across it. A patient complains about a bill for medical services they didn’t receive. An employee who rarely goes to the doctor gets told they’ve reached the limit on their health benefits. Someone gets denied coverage because their medical records show a condition they don’t have.
Just finishing your review of the preliminary FTC staff report, Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change: A Proposed Framework for Business and Policymakers? There’s good news. The FTC has extended the deadline for comments to Friday, February 18th.
You've just opened an invoice for office supplies you didn't order or for a listing in a business directory. It’s the same invoice you got last week – but this one is stamped "Past Due." Perhaps one of your colleagues says there's someone hounding her on the phone, demanding payment for Internet services your business didn’t request. You refuse to pay, and the next thing you know, they're threatening to take you to court, or turn the bill over to a collection agency and ruin your credit.
If your company keeps sensitive data like Social Security numbers, credit reports, account numbers, health records, or business secrets, you’ve probably instituted safeguards to protect that information, whether it’s stored in computers or on paper. That’s great. But it’s time to take those safeguards a step further.
Parents are understandably concerned about keeping their kids safe online. That’s why many moms and dads paid $3.99 a month for Sentry Parental Controls, software sold by EchoMetrix, Inc. Once Sentry is installed on a computer, buyers can log into their online account to monitor activity on that computer, including web history, online chats, and password-protected IMs.
So far, so good. But that wasn’t the only product marketed by EchoMetrix.