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FTC Articles

BlackBerry Use Limited in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates

BBC News reports that two Gulf states have announced bans on some BlackBerry functions based on security concerns. The United Arab Emirates will block sending emails, accessing the Internet, and delivering instant messages to other Blackberry handsets, while Saudi Arabia will prevent the use of Blackberry to Blackberry instant messaging.

Google Tells FTC a Hot News Doctrine Would Hurt Journalism
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Last month the Federal Trade Commission published its staff discussion draft of potential policy recommendations to "support the reinvention of journalism." Those potential recommendations have been the subject of a fair amount of controversy throughout the industry.

FTC Cracks Down On Online Payment Scam
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At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has halted an online scam that used identity theft to place more than $10 million in bogus charges on consumers’ credit and debit cards, pending a trial.

More than a million consumers were hit with one-time charges of $10 or less, and their payments were routed through dummy corporations in the United States to bank accounts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Twitter Reaches Agreement With FTC

Twitter just announced it has reached an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission that resolves some concerns the organization had with Twitter’s security practices.

The concerns at hand involve some compromises made last year, which Twitter had already addressed, and most people had probably forgotten about by now. Twitter’s A. Macgillivray explains on the Official Twitter Blog:

Should Mainstream Media Be Held to Different Standards Than Bloggers?
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Should mainstream media be held to different standards than bloggers when it comes to crediting sources? Mainstream media agencies have frequently turned their noses up at bloggers, essentially claiming that they steal and repurpose the work of their hard working journalists. While this may be true in some cases, it is hardly fair to say that this is true in general. In fact, this week, we’ve seen a clear example of the hypocrisy of this notion, because mainstream media publications are clearly just as guilty as blogs when it comes to improper crediting of sources.

Survey Suggests Majority Oppose Taxes to Save Journalism
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Update: NYT’s Brad Stone has written another post about Pulse. He quotes a spokesperson for the Times, who says, "We want to be clear that we are willing to work with Pulse, but only under our terms of use."

More here.

Google Completes Acquisition Of AdMob
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Google said today it has officially completed its acquisition of AdMob.

The Google Blog offers more details about the AdMob acquisition. "It’s clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients’ and partners’ strategies and with this acquisition, it’s now a central part of our own business."

FTC Launches Site Warning Of Loan Scams
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The Federal Trade Commission has created a website for a fake lending company that warns people about how easy it is to be tricked by scammers charging upfront fees for bogus loans.

The website is part of a consumer education campaign to help consumers manage their money and learn how to spot scams.

Judge Orders Fraudulent ISP Shut Down
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A U.S. district court judge today permanently shut down a rogue Internet Service Provider that recruited, hosted and actively participated in the distribution of spam spyware, child pornography, and other malicious and illegal content, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.

The ISP’s computer servers and other assets have been seized and will be sold by a court-appointed receiver, and the operation has been ordered to turn over $1.08 million in illegal profits to the FTC.

FTC Supports Better Protections For People Selling Jewelry Online
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The Federal Trade Commission told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce on Thursday it supports proposed legislation aimed at protecting consumers who sell gold and jewelry to online buyers.

Jim Kohm, Associate Director of the Enforcement Division of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, testified that the FTC supports the proposed Guarantee of a Legitimate Deal Act, which would strengthen the FTC’s ability to protect financially stressed consumers.

FTC Possibly Set To Oppose Google-Admob Deal

The Federal Trade Commission is not going to give Google’s acquisition of AdMob a thumbs up, according to new reports.  Indeed, the FTC seems likely to take the opposite approach and attempt to block the deal, with a formal show of opposition expected to occur in the near future.

Watchdog Group Calls For Stronger Online Child Privacy Law
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The Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing today about issues surrounding the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and if it should be updated to address online data collection practices, social networks, and the mobile web.

FTC Launches Site To Teach Kids About Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission has launched a new advertising literacy campaign aimed at helping older children understand the ads they say and become smarter consumers.

"Today’s kids see advertising everywhere – in movies and TV shows, outdoors, on phones, in games," said David C. Vladeck, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. 

Senator Contests Facebook’s New Approach To Privacy

Privacy experts and random users are no longer the only ones complaining about how Facebook’s latest moves have affected privacy.  Senator Charles Schumer made an objection of his own yesterday, and in fact asked the Federal Trade Commission to provide guidelines concerning the use of private info.

Google Shares Privacy Comments Submitted to FTC

Google is sharing its FTC Roundtable Comments document it submitted last week in response to the FTC’s recent "Exploring Privacy" roundtable series. This series was designed for the discussion of ways to protect consumer privacy, and included leaders from government, advocacy, academia, and industry.

Does Apple’s iAd Have the Right Stuff for Mobile Advertising?
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This week, among other things, Apple unleashed its new mobile advertising platform called iAd. This is based on the company’s acquisition of the mobile ad platform Quattro earlier this year.

FTC Complaint Targets Google, Microsoft, Yahoo
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The Center for Digital Democracy, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), and the World Privacy Forum may have just created some problems for Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and other companies that deal in online ads.  Together, they submitted a complaint about the companies to the Federal Trade Commission today.

FTC Promoting Online Child Safety

The Federal Trade Commission reported to Congress it is getting the word out about Internet safety for children by heavily promoting a new free booklet, "Net Cetera: Chatting with Kids About Being Online," to schools, law enforcement agencies and PTAs across the U.S.

Lawmakers Call On FTC To Review Google Privacy Policy
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Congressman John Barrow (D-GA) along with a number of other lawmakers sent a letter last week to the Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz calling for the protection of consumer privacy rights and an in-depth review of Google’s public release of personal consumer information

Have an Employee Social Media Policy for FTC Compliance
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The FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials that were updated in December have been the cause of a lot of concern and confusion among the industry, and this continues to do this day. A lot of the confusion has been around how the guidelines apply to social media use.

FTC Considers Updating Online Child Privacy Law
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The Federal Trade Commission is considering revising rules surrounding the online collection of children’s personal information due to the growing popularity of mobile Internet usage among young people.

The FTC’s Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule imposes requirements on operators of websites or online services that are aimed at children under 13 years of age, or that knowingly collect personal information.