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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission finalized the order settling charges that online advertising company Chitika, Inc. tracked consumers’ online activities even after they chose to opt out of online tracking on the company’s website. The FTC alleged that, unbeknownst to consumers, the “opt out” lasted for only 10 days. The final order bars Chitika from misleading consumers about the extent of its consumer data collection and the extent to which consumers can control the collection, use or sharing of their data. It also requires that every targeted ad include a hyperlink that takes consumers to a clear choice mechanism that allows them to opt out of receiving Chitika’s targeted ads for at least five years.

The Commission vote approving the final Order and letters to members of the public who commented on it was 5-0. (File No. 1023087; the staff contacts are Peder Magee or Tracy Shapiro, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3538 or 202-326-2343)

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1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).  The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.  The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.   Like the FTC on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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