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FTC Explores Rules Cracking Down on Commercial Surveillance and Lax Data Security Practices

Note: The FTC will host a virtual news conference at 12 p.m. ET today on the ANPR announcement. It will be webcast at https://kvgo.com/ftc/press-conference-aug-11 . Members of the media who wish to participate in today’s news conference must RSVP by 11:30 a.m. ET by sending an email to: OPAPressConference@ftc.gov . The Federal Trade Commission today announced it is exploring rules to crack down on harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security. Commercial surveillance is the business of collecting, analyzing, and profiting from information about people. Mass surveillance has heightened the risks and stakes of data breaches, deception, manipulation, and other abuses. The FTC’s Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks public comment on the harms stemming from commercial surveillance and whether new rules are needed to protect people’s privacy and information. “Firms now collect personal data on individuals at a massive scale and in a stunning array of contexts,” said FTC

FTC Sues Marketer of Personal Protective Equipment and Light Fixtures for Lying About Products Being Made in the USA and Government-Certified

The Federal Trade Commission has referred a complaint to the Department of Justice alleging Adam J. Harmon and two companies he controls falsely told consumers that personal protective equipment they marketed during the pandemic, as well as light fixtures they sold, were made in the United States. The FTC charged Harmon and his two companies, Axis LED Group, LLC and ALG-Health LLC, with violating the COVID-19 Consumer Protection Act, the Made in USA Labeling Rule and the FTC Act. The agency’s proposed order would stop them from making deceptive claims that products were Made in USA – or, that because they were Made in USA, they provided superior protection from COVID-19. The order also would require them to pay a civil penalty for their past deceptive claims. “ALG and its CEO slapped the Made in USA label on masks that were made overseas, and now they’re paying the price,” said Sam Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “As Americans struggle to obtain safe,

FTC Action Against Benefytt Results in $100 Million in Refunds for Consumers Tricked into Sham Health Plans and Charged Exorbitant Junk Fees

The Federal Trade Commission is taking action against healthcare company Benefytt Technologies, two subsidiaries, former CEO Gavin Southwell, and former vice president of sales Amy Brady, for lying to consumers about their sham health insurance plans and using deceptive lead generation websites to lure them in. According to the FTC complaint, Benefytt also illegally charged people exorbitant junk fees for unwanted add-on products without their permission. The proposed court orders require Benefytt to pay $100 million in refunds and prohibit the company from lying about their products or charging illegal junk fees. Southwell and Brady will be permanently banned from selling or marketing any healthcare-related product, and Brady will also be banned from telemarketing. “Benefytt pocketed millions selling sham insurance to seniors and other consumers looking for health coverage,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “The company is being ordered to p

Hush money

Money paid so that someone will keep information secret : money that a person pays someone to hush something up He's accused of paying her hush money to keep their affair secret.

US stocks closed mixed on Friday after July's strong jobs report

Federal Trade Commission Returns More Than $1 Million To Consumers Harmed by Global Asset Financial Services’ Phantom Debt Collection Scheme

The Federal Trade Commission is sending payments totaling more than $1 million to 1,966 consumers who were harmed by a debt collection scheme that conned consumers into paying debts they did not owe. The defendants used several names including GAFS Group, Global Mediation Group, and Mediation Services. Consumers will be recovering all the money they lost to the scammers, averaging $516 for each payment. Consumers will receive either a PayPal payment or a check in the mail. Recipients should redeem PayPal payments within 30 days or cash checks within 90 days. Approximately 200 additional consumers will receive claim forms. To get a payment, they must complete and return the form within 45 days to confirm the amount they paid the defendants. Consumers who have questions about their refund or claim form should call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 866-948-2713. The Commission never requires people to pay money or provide account information to get a refund. The FTC sued GAFS

FTC Takes Action to Stop Online Home Buying Firm Opendoor Labs, Inc. from Cheating Potential Sellers with Misleading Claims about its Home-Buying Service

The Federal Trade Commission today took action against online home buying firm Opendoor Labs Inc., for cheating potential home sellers by tricking them into thinking that they could make more money selling their home to Opendoor than on the open market using the traditional sales process. The FTC alleged that Opendoor pitched potential sellers using misleading and deceptive information, and in reality, most people who sold to Opendoor made thousands of dollars less than they would have made selling their homes using the traditional process. Under a proposed administrative order, Opendoor will have to pay $62 million and stop its deceptive tactics. “Opendoor promised to revolutionize the real estate market but built its business using old-fashioned deception about how much consumers could earn from selling their homes on the platform,” said Samuel Levine, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “There is nothing innovative about cheating consumers.” Opendoor, headquart