federal trade commission

Blogtrepreneur

FCC Officially Blocks Part Of ISP Privacy Rule From Taking Effect

As it was foretold, so it has come to pass: The Federal Communications Commission, under the direction of its new Chairman Ajit Pai, has taken action to block a portion of its own new privacy rule for internet service providers. [More]

German Officials Tell Parents To Destroy Doll That Records Conversations

German Officials Tell Parents To Destroy Doll That Records Conversations

Late last year, research indicated that certain toys may be collecting audio recording and personal information from children and sending that data to a company that used the information to improve the voice-recognition tools it sells to the military and law enforcement agencies. While consumer advocates quickly filed complaints with federal regulators in the U.S., across the pond, authorities in Germany are now directing parents to get rid of the “My Friend Cayla” doll.  [More]

Ann Fisher

FTC Investigation Finds 23% Of Funeral Homes Don’t Provide Price Lists

The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule is a bit of consumer protection that one doesn’t think about much unless until shopping for funeral services. Fortunately, the FTC sends undercover investigators out across the country to check whether individual funeral homes are treating customers in a way that complies with the rule. [More]

Student Loan Debt Collector To Pay $700,000 For Unlawful Collection Practices

Student Loan Debt Collector To Pay $700,000 For Unlawful Collection Practices

With more than 40 million consumers holding thousands of dollars in student loan debt, it’s no surprise that student loan debt collection is a growing business. Yet, these collectors must follow federal rules when it comes to enticing debtors to repay their obligations. Despite this, federal regulators say one company wasn’t following the rules, and must now pay $700,000.  [More]

(Sapurah Lashari)

Stratford Career College Settles Charges It Deceived Students Over Diploma Program

Obtaining a high school diploma can be a gateway for a consumers’ future, whether it be moving on to a college or university or scoring a job. But, as thousand of students of Stratford Career Institute found, a diploma is only good if it’s recognized. To that end, the correspondence school has agreed to a suspended $6.5 million settlement resolving federal regulator’s allegations that it misled students about its high school diploma course.  [More]

Sh4rp_i

How To Avoid Losing Money To The “Utility Company” Scam

When the weather outside is frightful, losing your heat or electricity is the last thing you want to have happened. But don’t let your fear of such an event push you into falling for a common scam perpetrated by fraudsters trying to pass themselves off as utility company employees on the phone. [More]

via NPR

Looking For “Facebook Customer Service” Online? Don’t Call This Scammy Number

When it comes to customer service, Facebook is notoriously difficult deal with, which is why people go searching on Google and elsewhere for any sort of reliable contact information for the site. But beware: There’s a scammy phone number lurking on the internet, passing itself off as “Facebook customer service.” [More]

frankieleon

VW To Pay $1.25B To Buy Back, Fix Cars With Emissions-Cheating ‘Defeat Devices’

And just like that, Volkswagen’s years-long “Dieselgate” scandal is nearing a conclusion as the carmaker has finally reached an agreement with federal regulators to fix and compensate owners of 78,000 3-liter diesel engine vehicles equipped with so-called defeat devices.  [More]

Phillip Bradshaw

FTC Opens Antitrust Investigation Of Mylan Over EpiPen’s Market Dominance

The EpiPen was a perfect symbol of the current state of pharmaceutical companies and health care expenses: It was a life-saving drug that had been around for decades, often used by children, and with a price that kept rising. The controversy over the epinephrine injectors led to news stories, a Congressional hearing, a $465 million settlement for overcharging Medicaid, and investigations by the states of New York and West Virginia.

[More]

Nicholas Eckhart

Walgreens Slashes $2B From Value Of Rite Aid Merger; Up To 1,200 Stores To Be Sold Off

Last Friday, Jan. 27, was the deadline for the deal to close in the proposed acquisition of drugstore chain Rite Aid by competitor Walgreens. Today, the companies announced a revised deal with an eye to meeting Federal Trade Commission approval. This deal values Rite Aid at over $2 billion less, and proposes the sale of hundreds more stores to another drugstore chain. [More]

David Menidrey

5 Things We’ve Learned About How Companies Track You Online And Off

Is there an ad that seems to be following you everywhere? Perhaps you browsed for new sneakers in a slow moment at work a week ago, and now you see ads for them on every site you view on your phone? Or maybe you clicked an ad on Facebook, and now that company’s product seems to be stalking you around the internet, asking you to buy it in every sidebar ad you see. [More]

Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1B Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1B Over Alleged Antitrust Violations

Days after federal regulators sued smartphone and device chip maker Qualcomm accusing it of antitrust violations, one of the company’s largest customers, Apple, is following suit, seeking $1 billion in damages.  [More]

hildeaux

Feds Halt Phony Rental Home Scheme That Raked In Millions In Bogus Credit Check Fees

For years now we’ve been warning consumers about the apartment rental credit check scam: a scheme where homes (that may not even exist) are listed online with the sole purpose of tricking prospective renters into paying for “credit checks” that will never be done. Today, federal regulators announced they had put a stop to one company accused of using bogus listings and fees to swindle millions out of hopeful tenants. [More]

Qualcomm Faces Anti-Trust Lawsuit Over Patents, Licensing

Qualcomm Faces Anti-Trust Lawsuit Over Patents, Licensing

Your phone might say “Apple” or “Samsung” or “LG” on the outside, but inside there are parts from dozens of companies, including Qualcomm, which now stands accused by federal regulators of using anticompetitive tactics to maintain an alleged monopoly on one important cell phone component. [More]

Byron Chin

You Don’t Care About Your Friends’ Data, And 4 Other Things We Learned From Privacy Experts

The things we buy and use every day are increasingly connected — to the internet, and to each other — and while this new level of interconnection provides a slew of benefits, it also raises a new set of privacy problems and security challenges. Yet, as we recently learned, consumers are often self-centered when it comes to protecting their data and don’t give much thought to making their friends’ info available. [More]

Feds, New York Accuse Maker Of Prevagen Dietary Supplement Of False Advertising

Feds, New York Accuse Maker Of Prevagen Dietary Supplement Of False Advertising

Prevagen is a dietary supplement that claims to help improve memory in 90 days, but both federal and state regulators are accusing the company behind Prevagen of making false and unsubstantiated claims. [More]

frankieleon

Hotels Harm Consumers By Not Including ‘Resort Fees’ In Room Rates

Staying in a hotel comes at a price — there’s the room rate, service charges, taxes, and hotels are increasingly taking on “resort fees” to cover amenities like internet access, parking, gym, spa, and pool — even if you never use them. These fees, which can significantly increase the total cost of a room, are almost never included in the advertised price and are often minimized or omitted until it comes time to actually book your stay.
[More]

Flyinace2000

Got An Idea On How To Make ‘Internet Of Things’ More Secure? You Could Win $25,000

Internet-connected (“smart”) devices are becoming ubiquitous, but they have this persistent problem: they’re internet-connected. A huge number are extremely vulnerable to being taken over by bad actors, for a whole host of reasons. And so, before your fridge becomes part of the next record-breaking botnet, the Federal Trade Commission wants to give someone cold, hard, cash money for coming up with a way to prevent it. [More]