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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today starting April 1, advertising for "free credit reports" online will require new disclosures to help consumers avoid confusing "free" offers which often require them to spend money on credit monitoring or other products and services.

The FTC’s Free Credit Reports Rule will require new prominent disclosures in ads for "free credit reports." Any website offering free credit reports must include a disclosure, across the top of each page that mentions free credit reports, which reads:

FTC Makes

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today starting April 1, advertising for "free credit reports" online will require new disclosures to help consumers avoid confusing "free" offers which often require them to spend money on credit monitoring or other products and services.

The FTC’s Free Credit Reports Rule will require new prominent disclosures in ads for "free credit reports." Any website offering free credit reports must include a disclosure, across the top of each page that mentions free credit reports, which reads:

FTC Makes
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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said today starting April 1, advertising for "free credit reports" online will require new disclosures to help consumers avoid confusing "free" offers which often require them to spend money on credit monitoring or other products and services.

The FTC’s Free Credit Reports Rule will require new prominent disclosures in ads for "free credit reports." Any website offering free credit reports must include a disclosure, across the top of each page that mentions free credit reports, which reads:

Google Getting Wrong Kind Of Buzz
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The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that Google’s new social networking service Buzz violates federal consumer protection law.

The EPIC complaint calls on the Trade Commission to require Google to make the Buzz service fully opt-in, to stop using Gmail users’ private address book contacts to gather social networking lists, and to give Google users more control over their personal data.

Consumer Groups Ask FTC To Block Google AdMob Deal
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Two consumer groups Monday asked the Federal Trade Commission to block Google’s $750 million deal to acquire mobile advertising firm, AdMob, on anti-trust grounds.

In a joint letter to the FTC, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) said Google is simply buying its way to dominance in the mobile advertising market, reducing competition to the detriment of consumers.
Jeff-Chester

FTC Guidelines Raise Big Blogging Questions
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Update 3: The new FTC Guidelines went into effect this week. A recent WebProNews interview with Wendy Piersall, Founder of the Woo! Jr. Network, looks at some interesting points about them that you may not have considered – some "gray areas" if you will.

Key Perspectives on the FTC Blogger Guidelines
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An interesting development has occurred in the story of the controversial FTC guidelines for sponsored blogging/social media. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has called upon the FTC to rescind the blogger rules, and has questioned the constitutionality of them. As you may know, there have been a lot people calling them an infringement on free speech.

Google Provides an Update on the AdMob Acquisition
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Google has issued a statement regarding the company’s pending acquisition of AdMob. Google’s intent to acquire the company was announced back in early November. The deal was for $750 million in stock.

Since then, the Federal Trade Commission has vowed to closely scrutinize the deal. Google had this to say today:

FTC Warns Of Online Free Trial Scams
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The Federal Trade Commission has joined an effort to warn consumers about deceptive online marketing related to free trial offers that require people to cancel or opt-out of a recurring charge for future products or services.

Privacy Group Files FTC Complaint About Facebook
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The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), along with nine other privacy and consumer organizations, has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charging that Facebook’s recent changes to user privacy settings violate federal consumer protection law.

The EPIC complaint wants the FTC to open an investigation into the changes made by Facebook to the privacy setting of its users and require the social network to restore privacy safeguards.

Google’s Blogger Adds Amazon Affiliate Monetization Option
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Google-owned Blogger has added a new revenue generation option: direct integration with Amazon Associates to search Amazon’s product catalog and add links to products where Bloggers can earn commissions when their readers buy products they recommend.

FTC Sues Intel, Intel Says “Misguided”
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The Federal Trade Commission has sued Intel, saying it has "abused its market dominance" according to the LA Times. Richard A. Feinstein, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition is quoted as saying:

"Intel has engaged in a deliberate campaign to hamstring competitive threats to its monopoly. It’s been running roughshod over the principles of fair play and the laws protecting competition on the merits."

FTC Says Kids Have Easy Access To Explicit Content In Virtual Worlds
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The Federal Trade Commission released a report today that found minors can easily access sexually and violently explicit content in online virtual worlds.

The congressionally mandated report, "Virtual Worlds and Kids: Mapping the Risks," calls on operators of virtual worlds to take steps to keep explicit content away from children and teens, and recommends parents become familiar with the virtual worlds their kids visit.

Minds of the Media Gather to Discuss Future of News

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is hosting a 2-day workshop on "Journalism and the Internet Age" today and tomorrow. Featured at the event are a number of high profile media executives and gurus. The cast ranges from News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch to Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington.

Bloggers Can (Not?) Be Fined Up to 11K Per Post for Non-Disclosure
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Update 2: The FTC is now saying that the $11,000 fine is not accurate, at least for the first violation. Fast company got some responses from Richard Cleland, assistant director, division of advertising practices at the FTC, who says:

Bing Ads Warn Consumers Of Online Scams
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Microsoft has partnered with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and Western Union on a series of online public service announcements (PSAs) aimed at protecting consumers from a number of scams.

Bing Warns of Scams

Internet Payday Lender Fined $1 Million By FTC

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have announced a settlement has been reached against an international Internet payday lending operation that failed to disclose key loan terms and used illegal debt collection tactics against consumers.

The operation will pay $1 million to settle the State of Nevada and FTC charges for its misleading tactics.

FTC Orders Sears To Destroy Tracking Data

The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Sears to end a program that placed spyware on customers’ computers that would track their online browsing.

The company, which includes Sears and Kmart, offered online customers $10 in return for installing the tracking software.

Sears Security Issues

Google Shares New Privacy Policy for Books
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Google has introduced a new privacy policy for Google Books, to try and appease the critics of Google’s enormous book indexing project. The company has also been in communication with the Federal Trade Commission, and has discussed both the new policy and a letter to the FTC on the Google Public Policy Blog.

FTC Stops U.S. Online Retailer From Posing As A UK-Based Site

The Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on a California based online electronics retailer for allegedly posing as it was based in the U.K. so it could deceive residents there into thinking they had stronger consumer protections.

When U.K. consumers received the cameras, video games and other electronic items, they discovered they had been charged unexpected import duties, were left with invalid warranties, and would be charged hefty cancellation and refund fees if they tried to send the items back.

What is Responsible Blogging to You?
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The Federal Trade Commission has recently taken an interest in regulation of blogs when it comes to bloggers receiving products and writing about them. A lot of discussion has taken place about what it means to blog responsibly.