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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Upromise, Inc., a membership reward service aimed at consumers trying to save money for college used a web-browser toolbar to collect consumers' personal information without adequately disclosing the extent of the information it was collecting.

The settlement order will require Upromise to clearly disclose its data collection practices and obtain consumers' consent before installing or re-enabling any such toolbar products, and to notify consumers how to disable the data collection tool on their computers. The settlement also will bar misrepresentations about the extent to which the company maintains the privacy and security of consumers' personal information, and require the company to establish a comprehensive information security program and to obtain biennial independent security assessments for the next 20 years.

The Commission vote to approve the final order with Upromise was 4-0. The order can be found on the FTC's website and as a link to this press release, and public comment can be found here. (FTC File No. 103-3116 staff contacts are Ruth Yodaiken and Katrina Blodgett, Bureau of Consumer Protection 202-326-2127 or 202-326-3158, see press release dated January 5, 2012)