Federal Trade Commission

Who knew—but yes, next week is Tax Identity Theft Awareness Week. How sad is it that we have to have a week devoted to education and awareness on this topic?

It’s tax season (“busy season” as my CPA friends call it), and prime time for identity thieves to reap millions in fake and fraudulent tax

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) potential reversal of the Obama Administration’s ‘Net Neutrality’ rules have been a constant headline lately. Most media coverage goes to the core principals of net neutrality, including blocking, throttling and pay for priority of internet content; however, privacy is also a factor.

Primarily, the FCC issued broadband privacy rules in 2016 after its 2015 net neutrality rules. The broadband privacy rules amongst other things, required websites and internet service providers (ISPs) to use an opt-in system to share or sell customer’s personal information like web history data, app usage data, etc. The FCC’s ability to enforce such rules hinged on a major component of the net neutrality rules which designated ISPs as common carriers and allowed the FCC to apply Title II of the Communications Act to ISPs. 
Continue Reading The Reversal of Net Neutrality on Privacy 101

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has concentrated on small businesses this year with the launch of www.FTC.gov/SmallBusiness , which provides data security awareness information to small businesses. The  site includes articles about data security, how to develop a data security plan, what happens when ransomware affects your business, what to do in response to a

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on September 5, 2017, that it has settled with Lenovo regarding allegations that Lenovo “harmed customers by pre-loading software on some laptops that compromised security protections in order to deliver ads to consumers.”

According to the FTC’s complaint against Lenovo, it pre-loaded “man in the middle” software, VisualDiscovery that

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved TRUSTe’s proposed modifications to their Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) safe harbor program this week.

COPPA requires, among other things, that commercial website and mobile app operators that knowingly collect personal information from children under age 13 post comprehensive privacy policies on their websites and in their mobile apps, notify parents and guardians of the website’s or mobile app’s information practices, and obtain parental consent before collecting, using or disclosing any personal information from children under age 13. However, COPPA includes a ‘safe harbor’ provision whereby industry groups may seek approval from the FTC to create self-regulatory guidelines that implement “the same or great protections for children” as those in COPPA. Website and mobile app operators that participate in FTC-approved safe harbor programs are subject to the review and disciplinary procedures provided in the safe harbor guidelines in lieu of an FTC’s formal investigation or enforcement.
Continue Reading FTC Approves Modifications to TRUSTe’s COPPA Safe Harbor Program

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)  has announced that it has settled its Complaint against operators of the lead generation business Global Media, LLC and its CEO Christopher Kay for $104 million. The judgment has been suspended because the defendants are unable to pay it. It represents the amount the defendants made by selling loan applications.