The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s chief privacy agency, issued a staff report recommending ways that key players in the rapidly expanding mobile marketplace can better inform consumers about their data practices.
The report makes recommendations for critical players in the mobile marketplace: mobile platforms (operating system providers, such as Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft), application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations. Most of the recommendations involve making sure that consumers get timely, easy-to-understand disclosures about what data they collect and how the data is used.
Jon Brodkin -Dec 5 2012
How Windows tech support scammers walked right into a trap set by the feds
When the FTC announced its crackdown on the tech support scammers, the agency played a recorded undercover call but otherwise didn’t spend much time talking about how they tracked the defendants down in the first place. Court documents the FTC subsequently sent our way show that it was rather easy. Or, more precisely, once the difficult groundwork of tracking down the scammers had been laid, the scammers walked right into the FTC’s trap, as gullible and helpless as the victims whose bank accounts they raided.
FTC press release 10/03/2012
FTC Halts Massive Tech Support Scams
Tens of Thousands of Consumers Allegedly Tricked Into Paying for Removal of Bogus Viruses and Non-Existent Spyware, and Allowing Scammers to Remotely Access their Computers
The Federal Trade Commission has launched a major international crackdown on tech support scams in which telemarketers masquerade as major computer companies, con consumers into believing that their computers are riddled with viruses, spyware and other malware, and then charge hundreds of dollars to remotely access and “fix” the consumers’ computers.
At the request of the FTC, a U.S. District Court Judge has ordered a halt to six alleged tech support scams pending further hearings, and has frozen their assets.
“The FTC has been aggressive – and successful – in its pursuit of tech support scams,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “And the tech support scam artists we are talking about today have taken scareware to a whole other level of virtual mayhem.”
Brussels, 26 January 2011
Mergers: Commission clears Intel’s proposed acquisition of McAfee subject to conditions
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of McAfee, a vendor of information technology security, by Intel, both of the US. The approval is conditional upon a set of commitments ensuring fair competition between the parties and their competitors in the field of computer security, a growing concern due to the exponential rise in the number of malware such as viruses. The Commission was concerned that rival IT security products could be excluded from the marketplace given Intel’s strong presence in the world markets for computer chips and chipsets. In particular, the Commission worried about the high likelihood that the merged entity would embed its own security solutions into its chips and chipsets. To alleviate those concerns, Intel committed to ensuring the interoperability of the merged entity’s products with those of competitors.
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the acquisition in December.
FTC Staff Issues Privacy Report Offers Framework for Consumers, Businesses, and Policymakers
Endorses “Do Not Track” to Facilitate Consumer Choice About Online Tracking
“Technological and business ingenuity have spawned a whole new online culture and vocabulary – email, IMs, apps and blogs – that consumers have come to expect and enjoy. The FTC wants to help ensure that the growing, changing, thriving information marketplace is built on a framework that promotes privacy, transparency, business innovation and consumer choice. We believe that’s what most Americans want as well,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
The makers of the popular Firefox Web browser are exploring ways to create a do-not-track mechanism that could offer Internet users a way to avoid being monitored online.
The effort comes just months after Firefox’s creator, Mozilla Corp., killed a powerful new tool to limit tracking under pressure from an ad-industry executive, The Wall Street Journal has learned. Mozilla says it didn’t scrap the tool because of pressure, but rather out of concern it would force advertisers to use even sneakier techniques and could slow down the performance of some websites.
Read more: Wall Street Journal