FTC Sends Refund Checks to Victims of Tech Support Scams

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Federal Trade Commission will send refunds to tech support scams totaling US$1.7 million. The scam operated under Click4Support, claiming to be from companies like Apple and Microsoft.

The FTC will begin providing 57,960 refunds averaging about $30 each to victims of the scheme. Most recipients will get their refunds via PayPal, but those who receive checks should deposit or cash their checks within 60 days, as indicated on the check.

Now That it Fined Facebook, FTC Sues Cambridge Analytica

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is suing now-bankrupt Cambridge Analytica for its role in collecting user data for voter targeting.

The torrent of privacy settlements, data scandals, and regulatory concerns over its handling of user information, however, has done nothing to hurt its financial prospects, at least yet. It’s business as usual for Facebook…But regulatory troubles are far from over for Facebook, what with the tech giant coming under fresh scrutiny from the FTC for possible violation of US antitrust law.

FTC Shuts Down Four Robocall Groups

· Andrew Orr · Link

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has shut down four robocall groups responsible for billions of robocalls.

Four separate operations responsible for bombarding consumers nationwide with billions of unwanted and illegal robocalls pitching auto warranties, debt-relief services, home security systems, fake charities, and Google search results services have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated the FTC Act and the agency’s Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR), including its Do Not Call (DNC) provisions.

I feel like this will be a hydra situation. Four get shut down and eight new ones take their place.

TikTok Fined 5.7M Over Illegal Data Collection of Kids

· Andrew Orr · Link

TikTok is being fined US$5.7 million over allegations that it “illegally collected images, voice recordings, and geolocation of children, some younger than 13.”

The amount, part of an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday, is the largest civil penalty ever issued by the agency in a child privacy case. FTC commissioners Rohit Chopra and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter also filed a separate statement calling for TikTok executives to be held accountable in any future cases. “In our view, these practices reflected the company’s willingness to pursue growth even at the expense of endangering children,” the statement read.

It Doesn't Look Good for Qualcomm in Antitrust Trial

· Andrew Orr · Link

Qualcomm and the FTC have presented closing arguments in the antitrust trial, and it doesn’t sound good for Qualcomm.

The evidence is overwhelming that Qualcomm engaged in exclusionary conduct. The effects of Qualcomm’s conduct, when considered together, are anticompetitive.

It will be interesting to see if this case will finally close, or if Apple and Qualcomm will keep fighting like Apple and Samsung do.

AT&T Updates Smartphones With Misleading 5G Icon

· Andrew Orr · Link

AT&T is so excited for the rollout of 5G that it’s updating smartphones a bit early, with a misleading 5G icon.

AT&T has updated three smartphones from Samsung and LG to make them show 5G connectivity logos, even though none of them are capable of connecting to 5G networks…That “E” in the “5G” logo is supposed to tip you off that this isn’t real 5G — just some marketing nonsense. But there’s no way of knowing that just from looking at the logo.

As it turns out, the government didn’t create or ratify 5G. Neither the FCC nor FTC are regulating what the term means, so technically AT&T is still within the law by doing this. Doesn’t make it right, but it shows how absurd the 5G situation is.

FTC Launches Investigation into Facebook's Privacy Practices

· Jeff Gamet · News

FTC Facebook privacy investigation

Facebook’s headaches over the way Cambridge Analytica obtained and exploited user profiles is far from over because the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has launched an investigation into the social network’s privacy practices.

FCC Chairman Has Delusional Plan to (Un)Protect Net Neutrality

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Net Neutrality graffiti on a brick wall

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai has some cockamamie ideas divorced from reality. The man who believes the United States is a better place if ISPs can sell what they know about us also thinks Net Neutrality would be better protected if it was voluntary. Bryan Chaffin explains.

Vizio's Spying TVs, UAC iPhone Connectors - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-07

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

TMO Daily Observations Podcast Logo

Vizio just settled an FTC lawsuit for using their smart TVs to spy on customers. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Vizio collecting viewing data on users without permission and the settlement with the FTC. They also look at the UAC connector that’s going to let headphones connect to Lightning and USB-C.

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on You, and the FTC Settled with a Wrist Slap

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Eye Spy on Your TV

Did you hear the one about the TV company that spied on its customers, sold that data to third parties, and got a slap on the wrist from the FTC? Bryan Chaffin has the details, and he’s pretty cranky about it.