February 2013

Batten down the patches: Six points to take from the FTC settlement with HTC

By now, you’ve read about the FTC’s settlement with HTC — the agency’s first law enforcement action against a mobile device manufacturer.  According to the complaint, when HTC customized the operating systems used on many of its products, it introduced security vulnerabilities that put users’ sensitive information at risk.  In addition to requiring implementation of a comprehensive s

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Device Squad: The story behind the FTC's first case against a mobile device maker

HTC America is a leading manufacturer of smartphones and tablets using the Android, Windows Mobile, and Windows Phone operating systems.  The company’s motto is “quietly brilliant.”  But based on an FTC lawsuit challenging the company's security practices, consumers might be surprised to find out their devices have also been “quietly vulnerable.”  To settle the case — the FTC’s first against a device manufacturer — HTC has agreed to a far-reaching settlement that imposes

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Shell game?

“Payment processing” used to involve standing in the checkout line and handing the cashier your pennies.  (Remember checkout lines?  Remember cashiers?  Remember pennies?)  In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the FTC alleges that Ideal Financial Solutions and more than a dozen individual and corporate defendants used an “intricate web of concealment” to game the payment processing system in a way that resulted in more than $25 million in unauthorized credit card charges and bank account

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Gray matters

When even the #1 movie at the box office is called “Identity Thief,” it’s a topic at the top of everyone’s list.  If you’re in the financial or healthcare sector — or just want to stay up on an emerging issue — find out more about an FTC initiative focused on how identity theft affects a particular segment of your community.

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How the FTC's settlement will change Four Loko's label and packaging

A final FTC order will lead to big changes in the marketing of the Four Loko malt beverage and offers insights into the notice-and-comment process for all proposed administrative settlements.

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Reporting on credit reports

If you’re in the financial field, chances are you’re familiar with the FACT Act (sometimes called FACTA by friends and family).  It’s the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, which amended portions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.  Research just released by the FTC puts the word “accurate” under the microscope.

Some factoids of interest from the Report to Congress.

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Here Comes Money Boo Boo

No, not the cherubic child star on reality TV.  We’re talking about the serious repercussions of American Tax Relief's misleading claims about substantially reducing what consumers owed in taxes — and major mistakes some businesses make when it comes to the financial consequences of deception.  A look at the settlement offers insights into the breadth of remedies available for violations of the FTC Act and related rules.

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5 top-level takeaways from the FTC staff report on mobile privacy disclosures

To Rat Pack types, "Just in Time" was a swingin' tune Dean Martin sang in the old musical "Bells Are Ringing."  It's still relevant to ringing bells, but now it's in the context of smartphones, tablets — and one of several suggestions the FTC is making to mobile platforms, app developers, ad networks, and others about how and when to disclose key privacy-related information to consumers.  Are you plugged in to what this could mean for your business?

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12 tips toward kick-app mobile security

Before you start marketing your app, let’s go through the TO DO list.

Does it deliver on what you say it can do?  Check.
Have you thought through your marketing strategy?  Check.
Does it look like app stores might be interested?  Check.
Ready?  Not so fast.  There’s an indispensible step you may be overlooking.  But there’s good news:  The FTC has 12 tips to make that task easier.

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FTC Path case helps app developers stay on the right, er, path

In the few years it’s been up and running, Path has billed itself as a different kind of social network.  According to a description of its "Values," "Path should be private by default.  Forever.  You should always be in control of your information and experience."  It’s a lovely sentiment.  Except that according to an FTC law enforcement action, it wasn’t private by default.  It wasn’t private forever.  Users weren’t in control of their information and

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