FTC Articles

FTC Warns Of Online Free Trial Scams
· 4

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
· 3

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
· 7

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”
· 1

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
· 1

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
· 29

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
· 3

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
· 1

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?
· 1

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.

7 Behavioral Targeting Privacy Principles
· 2

Today a group of key trade groups released comprehensive privacy principles for use and collection of behavioral data in online advertising. These are self-regulatory principles to protect consumer privacy in ad-supported interactive media that will require advertisers and Web sites to clearly inform consumers about data collection practices and enable them to exercise control over that information.

EBay Pressures Senate To Outlaw Minimum Pricing
· 4

eBay, Burlington Coat Factory, and the US Federal Trade Commission are pressuring the US Senate to pass a law banning vertical price-fixing, effectively overturning a 2007 Supreme Court decision.

Manufacturers and retailers actually call it vertical “retail price management” (RPM). The practice entails setting a minimum price retailers can sell specific items for. Remember last Christmas, when you spent hours online comparative shopping only to find out everybody who carried it was selling it for exactly the same price?

Social Media Marketing And The FTC


Why Social Media Needs The FTC

While some people might think that Ashton and Oprah on Twitter is the only news, the real social media story happening at the minute involves the FTC (the Federal Trade Commission).

FTC to Regulate Blogs and Social Media?
· 11

The Federal Trade Commission plans to begin regulating blogs and social media. While they’re getting tougher on results-based advertising, they are also looking at going after blogs and social media users who portray products they’re promoting in a less than accurate light. AdAge explains:

FTC To Bar Atypical Results Advertising

The Federal Trade Commission plans to get tougher on advertisers’ use of testimonials and endorsements by requiring more transparency and ending the practice of using disclaimers like “individual results may vary” and “results not typical.”

Privacy Group Calls For Investigation Of Google

An online privacy group has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking it to investigate Google’s security safeguards for its cloud computing service.

Advertising Groups To Develop Privacy Guidelines For Online Behavioral Ads

Four major marketing and advertising industry associations have announced they are working to develop enhanced self-regulatory principles for online behavioral advertising with the goal of addressing privacy concerns and increasing consumer’s trust in how online information is collected and used.

Those associations involved include the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).