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 Consumer Privacy
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 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
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.
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.
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?
Consumers have made it clear: They want to know what their apps are up to. And when it comes to apps for kids, italicize that, put it in ALL CAPS, and multiply by 10. That’s why the FTC has released a new way of letting parents know just what their kids’ apps may be doing. Savvy app developers will want to take a look, too.
Paper, Plastic, . . . Mobile? The question isn’t about how you bag your groceries — it’s about how you pay for them. Are you going to use cold hard cash?
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
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.
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
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.
It’s called history sniffing — the practice of “sniffing” people’s web browsers to determine if they’ve visited certain sites. According to the FTC’s lawsuit against Epic Marketplace and affiliated companies, history sniffing is a particularly invasive form of tracking that raises serious consumer privacy concerns.
Are you and your clients taking in The Big Picture? That’s what the FTC is calling its December 6, 2012, workshop on comprehensive online data collection. The event will gather consumer groups, academics, industry representatives, privacy professionals, and others to look at the current state of comprehensive data collection, its risks and potential benefits, and where it could be going in the future.
Business has gone global, but how should consumers be protected when transactions cross borders? The FTC is hosting a forum on Thursday, November 29, 2012, to talk about the role of enforceable industry codes of conduct to protect consumers in cross-border commerce. What’s on the agenda? Systems where government entities, businesses, consumer groups, and others develop and administer voluntary procedures that govern areas outside of traditional government oversight.
Everybody needs a wingman — somebody there just in case you need back-up. When it comes to explaining the consumer protection basics of mobile apps to client and colleagues, you’ve got a wingman at the ready.
It’s called Marketing Your Mobile App: Get It Right From the Start. It’s a to-the-point brochure from the FTC outlining fundamental truth-in-advertising and privacy principles for app developers. The brochures focuses on time-tested tips like: