With today’s technology, organizations and companies can collect and analyze massive amounts of consumer data at lightning speed. What people search online, buy in stores, and do and say on social media is information that helps companies market more efficiently. This era of "big data" may hold lots of promise – but also some pitfalls.
Next month, the FTC will explore the use of big data for marketing and other purposes.
You may have heard about it in the news: reports that Russian hackers have stolen more than a billion unique username and password combinations, and more than 500 million email addresses, grabbed from thousands of websites. What should you do about it? We asked our resident expert, Maneesha Mithal, director of our Division of Privacy and Identity Protection.
If you’re behind on your bills, you’ll probably get calls from debt collectors. Their job is to get you to pay or make arrangements to pay. But any debt collector who harasses or threatens you is breaking the law. The Federal Trade Commission’s cases against Credit Smart and Regional Adjustment Bureau highlight the facts of life every consumer facing debt collection should know.
The FTC is mailing refund checks totaling more than $16 million to 18,571 people who paid American Tax Relief, a company that claimed it could reduce their tax debts. Under the settlement, the defendants turned over millions of dollars in assets, and are banned from telemarketing and selling debt relief services.
If you’re a servicemember getting ready to deploy, you most likely have a “To Do” list. FTC staff suggest your list include placing an active duty alert on your credit reports to help minimize your risk of identity theft.
What do you call a company that helps scammers drain people’s accounts without authorization? At the FTC, we call them “Defendants.” Badum bum.
In fact, the Commission just charged three companies and four individuals with helping a fraudulent internet operation withdraw $26 million without the permission of the account holders.
Assistant Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC
A good shopping buddy has a sharp eye, knows the lay of the land, and can find the best deals on the products you want. A great shopping buddy might even share coupons with you.
Millions of people have found new shopping buddies — their smartphones. Shopping apps for use in brick-and-mortar stores have been downloaded millions of times.
With vacation season in full swing, it’s easier than ever to lose track of a wallet in a winding airport security line, or on a crowded, sunbaked beach. Rather than spiraling into a panic about your wallet taking a vacation of its own, here are some steps to take right away.