Blog Posts Tagged with Consumer Privacy

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FTC releases Privacy Report

In a world of smart phones and smart grids, the smart money is on companies that play it smart with consumers’ information.  Consistent with its 40 years’ experience protecting consumer privacy, the FTC’s just-released Report — Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change:  Recommendations for Businesses and Policymakers — underscores that message and outlines a new privacy framework designed for the

Fast forward

Dot Com Disclosures — the FTC’s staff publication about online advertising — was published 12 years ago. Of course, the same basic consumer protection principles apply online, in mobile marketing, and in other media, but a lot has happened since then.  In light of technological changes, is it time for revised guidance about making disclosures required by FTC law?

Keeping Upromises

Upromise offers users a service where they can save for college by getting rebates when they buy merchandise from participating retailers. But as the FTC charged in a recent law enforcement settlement, when it comes to consumer privacy and data security, the college savings membership program may want to consider a refresher course.

Present perfect

This time of year retailers look forward to the sweet harmony of silver bells, laughing voices, and the cha-ching of registers. Here are some steps you can take to ensure a happier holiday for your business — and your customers.

Lessons from the Facebook settlement (even if you’re not Facebook)

The terms of the FTC’s proposed settlement apply only to Facebook. But to paraphrase noted legal scholar Bob Dylan, companies that want to stay off the law enforcement radar don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. What practical pointers can your business take from the Facebook case and other recent FTC actions dealing with consumer privacy?

Facebook’s future: What the FTC order means for consumer privacy

The FTC’s complaint against Facebook outlines eight separate areas where the FTC says Facebook’s privacy practices were deceptive or unfair. What provisions does the proposed order put in place to protect people in the future?

One key provision is a broad ban on deception. Facebook can’t misrepresent the privacy or security protections that apply to any “covered information.” The order defines that as information “from or about” an individual consumer like:

New privacy system for movement of consumer data between US & Asia-Pacific economies

If your company does business in the Asia-Pacific region — or if you work with clients from that part of the global economy — you’ll want to follow recent developments in the privacy arena. This week, the FTC welcomed the approval by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC) of a new initiative to harmonize cross-border data privacy protection among members of APEC.

Flash in the pan?

Businesses have wised up that their customers are concerned about privacy. That’s why privacy promises, like any other claim you convey, have to be truthful. So when you describe how you use — and don’t use — people’s information, be sure to give them the straight story, avoiding steps that would undermine their privacy choices. That’s the nuts-and-bolts conclusion companies should draw from the FTC’s settlement with ScanScout, the first agency action addressing Flash cookies.

Quoth the Maven

In celebration of Halloween — and with apologies to Edgar Allen Poe — here’s our take on what companies can do to make sure spooky business practices don’t come back to haunt them.




Once upon a midnight lawful
Pondering practices, good and awful,
Reading through the U.S. Code
For dos and don’ts I parse and claw.

I came upon the Trade Commission’s
Section 5 with all revisions.

(De)fault lines

When people get the latest software, app, or gizmo, it comes with default settings configured by the company responsible for the product. The FTC’s settlement with Frostwire, a developer of free peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing software, raises interesting issues for industry. When can a company’s choice of default settings amount to an unfair practice under Section 5 of the FTC Act? And when can a company’s representations about default settings be considered deceptive?

New tool for back-to-school

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.

Linking, liking, and loading

Logo for BCP Business Center - Your link to the law

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.

Closed encounters of the third kind

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.

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