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.
Through cramming, customers are charged for goods and services provided by third-party merchants. Sometimes these are legitimate add-on third party charges such as charitable contributions. However, a new Federatl Trade Commission report notes that other charges may be added illegally by scammers.
A new bipartisan bill would give technology manufacturers the option to digitally provide labeling information instead of physically stamping or engraving it on the product.
Major data breaches compromising the private information of millions of users were major news items in 2013- so big, in fact, that the National Consumers League has launched an initiative to get Congress to do something about it.