FTC Blogs

FTC to Small Businesses: Gather Round

Legend has it that King Arthur gathered his knights at a round table. Because the table had no head, it signaled that everyone seated at it was respected, and their contributions were welcome. At the FTC, we love the concept of a round table. It's a way to bring together stakeholders for a mutually beneficial discussion.

Telemarketing Sales Rule requires clarity on charity

Some people say charity begins at home. But for telemarketers, truthful information about charity begins on the phone. That’s the message of an FTC settlement with InfoCision, an Ohio-based for-profit telemarketer that solicits contributions on behalf of well-known charities. If you represent professional charity fundraisers or have an affiliation with charitable organizations that ask for money by phone, it could be time for a Telemarketing Sales Rule review.

FTC challenges claims that products could treat side effects of cancer treatment

The FTC’s fight against the deceptive marketing of unproven cancer treatments goes back to the early days of the agency, and it’s disappointing that we still need to bring cases of that nature. But you can add the FTC’s settlement with Florida-based CellMark Biopharma and CEO Derek Vest to that list – and the deceptive claims they pitched to people battling cancer are particularly disconcerting.

What to do if you’re the target of revenge porn

Has an intimate image of you been shared without your OK? If so, you’re not alone. Whether a nude picture was taken without your consent, or an image you shared with someone is shared further than you’d intended, many people are affected by revenge porn or non-consensual pornography. If that’s happened to you or someone you know, here are some things to do.

Buyer beware: Flood-damaged cars for sale

The floodwaters from last year’s hurricanes receded months ago, but their wrath could still affect used car buyers across the nation. That’s because storm-damaged cars are sometimes cleaned up and taken out of state for sale. You might not know a vehicle is damaged until you take a closer look or have a mechanic check it out. Here’s what to do.

FTC staff offers perspectives on connected car workshop

Car ads used to include shorthand like 2D, AWD, and AC. Today’s car buyer is just as likely to ask about USB, GPS, and wifi. Last June, the FTC and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) hosted a workshop in Washington to discuss the types of information that connected and autonomous cars collect and the ways the data can be used.

If your kids have electronic devices, read this

Did you buy electronic devices for your children this holiday season? I did — I bought one for my 9 year-old — and I want to share with you what I learned about protecting my kid’s personal information online. The minute my son unwrapped his gift, he began using it and I immediately began worrying about his personal information being exposed.

VTech settlement cautions companies to keep COPPA-covered data secure

We can’t guarantee its effectiveness in getting kids to eat their vegetables or finish their homework. But there’s one circumstance in which a Mom or Dad’s “Because I said so . . . .” is the law of the land. When it comes to the online collection of personal information from kids under 13, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (COPPA) puts parents in charge.

FTC staff answers questions about MLMs

Multi-level marketers sell a wide variety of products and services and they structure their companies in different ways. But there’s a lodestar that all industry members can use to navigate through issues that may arise – and here it is:  Core consumer protection principles apply to all MLMs. FTC staff has just released business guidance to help MLMs apply those core principles to their business practices.

How the FTC keeps up on technology

Because the FTC’s consumer protection and competition missions cut across so many technology industries, some call it the “Federal Technology Commission.” With only a few exceptions, the FTC protects consumers and competition across the entire economy. Technology now pervades every industry, so we constantly encounter new technologies as part of our job. See the bottom of this post for an extensive list, with links to examples, of technologies and industries where the FTC has experience or expertise.