Showing posts filed under: FTC Beat by Nicole Kardell

September 28, 2011

FTC Is Asked to Crack Down on ‘Supercookies’ as Data Privacy Violation

The bastard stepchild of online behavioral advertising – the supercookie – is in the hot seat. Two members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the FTC on September 27 calling on the commission to look into the usage and impact of supercookies on consumers. Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Joe Barton (R-Tex.),… Read More

September 20, 2011

Payday Lenders Find Themselves in FTC’s Cross Hairs

Like pawnbrokers, payday lenders cater to people in a tight squeeze. That means they can, in turn, put the squeeze on their customers, charging annual percentage interest rates above 300 percent for their short-term unsecured loans. That also means they are a popular target of federal regulators who are concerned about vulnerable consumers. The FTC… Read More

September 12, 2011

Prepaid Phone Companies Dial a Wrong Number at the FCC

Companies marketing prepaid phone cards should be on the lookout: the Federal Communications Commission is threatening more-severe penalties for deceptive advertising. The prepaid phone card business is pretty profitable, with the industry raking in billions every year. Plastering phone cards with names like “Africa Magic” and “Hola Amigo,” prepaid calling card companies target immigrant populations,… Read More

August 15, 2011

FTC’s Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule May Not Help Consumers

The FTC recently issued the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Final Rule. This rule is the FTC’s response to a congressional directive to address unfair or deceptive acts in the mortgage loan industry. Briefly, the MAP Rule (1) gives the FTC and state authorities the ability to seek civil penalties for deceptive mortgage advertising,… Read More

July 27, 2011

For-Profit Colleges Challenge Education Department’s Rules

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities is taking on the Department of Education. The organization, which represents some 1500 for-profit education institutions, filed its second lawsuit this year to contest the agency’s new regulations aimed at career colleges. The ASPCU won one and lost two in the first suit, and is currently appealing… Read More

July 18, 2011

Those ‘Voluntary’ Rules for Food Companies are Anything But Voluntary

There’s been a lot of talk of late about the cost to industry of government regulation. The president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Tom Donohue, asserted at a job summit on Monday that recent government initiatives are “unjustified and uncalled for in a free society and a free economy” and are “killing American jobs.”… Read More

July 13, 2011

Feds Should Think Twice About Regulating For-Profit Colleges

Business is booming at America’s for-profit colleges. With steady high unemployment rates, many of the job-hungry have opted to pursue higher or specialized degrees in an effort to make themselves more marketable. Pricy for-profit institutions, like the 400,000 strong University of Phoenix, are flourishing with this increased demand as students flock to their courses to… Read More

June 23, 2011

FTC Goes After a Consumer-Endorser for the First Time

When deciding whether to buy a product or service, how often do you check out product reviews or testimonials and how often does that research impact your purchasing decision? The FTC seems to consider consumer reviews and testimonials as pretty persuasive – most notably in the context of online write-ups. In 2009, the Commission revised… Read More

June 14, 2011

FTC Tries to Stay One Step Ahead of Internet Fraud

The FTC’s recent settlement with a California-based Internet marketer may provide a good example of why the Commission is revising its online advertising guidelines. The FTC announced last Thursday that it has reached a settlement with Jaivin Karnani, his company, Balls of Kryptonite, and several associated companies.  The settlement resolves charges the FTC brought against… Read More