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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]

Chris Blakeley

FCC Chair Faces Blowback Over Decision To Undo ISP Privacy Rule

Last week, FCC Chair Ajit Pai declared that he would halt the Commission’s new privacy rule before it kicks in on March 2. That last-minute decision is now under fire from within the FCC and beyond. [More]

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

We Dissected This Fake News Site Linking Denzel, Stephen Hawking To Brain-Boosting Pills

For years, marketers of sketchy dietary supplements have cooked up fake news websites and used bogus “reporters” to push their product online. But we stumbled on one site that quadruples down on the fiction, attributing utterly made-up endorsements to bona fide stars of stage, screen, sports, and science. [More]

Eric Norris

Feds Investigate Auto Lender For Its Use Of GPS Device To Remotely Disable Cars

Once upon a time, if you fell behind on your car loan, the repo guy came out in the middle of the night and took your collateral-on-wheels back. These days, there are small GPS devices that can remotely disable the ignition until the borrower pays up. However, one auto lender is currently facing a federal investigation for its use of this technology. [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]

Feds: Drug Company Delayed Cheaper Generics By Flooding The FDA With Paperwork

Feds: Drug Company Delayed Cheaper Generics By Flooding The FDA With Paperwork

Given that a brand-name prescription drug stands to lose a significant chunk of its market share once a lower-price generic becomes available, you can understand why a drug company would want to do anything it can to delay the cheaper alternative, even if you disagree with their intentions. We’ve seen companies accused of paying millions to stave off competition through alleged “pay for delay” deals, and we’ve also seen examples of “product hopping” to prevent competitors from entering the field. Now here’s another method for keeping generics off the market: allegedly flooding the Food and Drug Administration with pointless paperwork. [More]

JKehoe_Photos

Vizio To Pay $2.2 Million For Watching TV Watchers Without Telling Them

There is a new truism for our era: If something can connect to the internet, it collects data. That’s true for everything from wearable fitness trackers to “smart” washing machines. But one TV company went farther than most, in collecting, aggregating, and selling your data, and now it’s in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission. [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]

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]

Feds: No Proof That ‘Breathometer’ Blood Alcohol Content Test Actually Works

Feds: No Proof That ‘Breathometer’ Blood Alcohol Content Test Actually Works

The Breathometer promised to be a pocket-sized law-enforcement-grade device that could be used to accurately measure blood alcohol levels to determine if the user is sober enough to drive. It’s a good enough idea that it won over the panel on Shark Tank, but according to federal regulators, the only thing you can definitely say about this device is that it does fit in your pocket. [More]

Alper Çuğun

Uber Ordered To Pay $20 Million For Allegedly Exaggerating Drivers’ Potential Earnings

Popular ride-hailing service Uber has agreed to pay $20 million to close the book on federal charges that it used misleading and exaggerated earnings figures to attract new drivers to work with the company. [More]

Brian_B 1976

Western Union Will Pay $585 Million For Not Doing Enough To Stop Wire Fraud

Whether it’s the “distant relative stranded in a foreign country” scam or the “you’ve won the lottery but you have to pay us scam” or any other variation on this remotely operated ruse, wire transfer services like Western Union are often the conduit for getting that money from the victim to the scammer. After years of being accused of not doing enough to clamp down on fraud by its customers, Western Union has agreed to pay $585 million to federal authorities and admit that its policies — and some of its agents — aided and abetted wire fraud. [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]

John Abella

Feds Shut Down Two Massive Illegal Robocall Operations

Fighting robocalls might seem as pointless as chasing a greased pig, but occasionally you’re able to get your slick mitts on a slippery swine and hold on, if only for a moment. Today, the Federal Trade Commission managed to nab a pair of particularly large robocalling pigs, who have allegedly been violating the Do Not Call Registry for at least five years. [More]

Feds Accuse D-Link Of Failing To Properly Secure Routers & Webcams

Feds Accuse D-Link Of Failing To Properly Secure Routers & Webcams

Federal regulators have accused D-Link, a manufacturer of popular networking and smart-home products, of leaving its routers and webcam devices vulnerable to hackers. [More]