The American Civil Liberties Union wants the federal government to investigate whether companies are using big data to engage in racial discrimination around online credit marketing—and take action, if they are.
Federal departments and agencies were instructed to adopt the use of security-enhanced cards, such as those that use chip-and PIN technology "as soon as possible" in an Oct. 17 executive order signed by President Obama. Chip-and-PIN technology – which uses an embedded chip in credit, debit and other payment cards, in lieu of a magnetic strip, and a personal identification number – has greatly reduced financial fraud and identity theft in Europe.
A meeting of the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners concluded Oct. 16, resulting in the adoption of several resolutions, including one focused on privacy and big data. During the event, Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill urged privacy representatives from several countries to draft specific solutions to address the discrimination, security and privacy implications of big data.
When companies break their promises to keep consumer data secure or private, the Federal Trade Commission can bring legal action against them. Now, the agency is extending this practice to mobile applications.
Once reserved for scientific studies, big data is now regularly used by corporations to analyze information about consumers-- and privacy experts say these emerging practices raise tough policy questions.
Most mobile applications fail to explain to consumers what information is being collected and how it will be used, finds a recent global review of 1,211 popular apps.
While mobile banking provides consumers with "unprecedented efficiency and convenience," consumers should be aware of fraudulent or unfair practices that could impose additional costs or compromise their data, the Federal Trade Commission said in comments submitted to the Consumer Financial Protection Board.
The FTC sponsored the robocall contest – called Zapping Rachel – at the DEF CON 22 hacking conference in early August. Contestants had to design a so-called honeypot, which is an information system that would attract robocallers so researchers, law enforcement and other stakeholders could gain more insight into robocallers' tactics.
The Federal Trade Commission is warning D.C. residents that callers claiming to be from the FTC or Internal Revenue Service could actually be scammers. "Even if your phone's caller ID says 'FTC' or 'IRS,' or shows Washington, DC's '202' area code, it could still be a scam. Scammers know how to show fake information on caller ID," an Aug. 27 FTC statement says.
A consumer privacy group is alleging that 30 U.S. companies, including Adobe, AOL and Salesforce.com, are collecting personal data on European Union citizens without their consent or knowledge, violating an international framework.