FTC’s List of Corporate Privacy Abusers Shows Advertisers Can’t Be Trusted With Data Security

The FTC yesterday published a list of companies that used unfair, deceptive, false or misleading claims about consumer privacy that caused “substantial consumer injury,” and the names on it will surprise you. Sure, many of the companies are mortgage scammers and spam phishers. But lots of them are household and blue-chip brands such as Twitter, TJ Maxx (TJX), Microsoft (MSFT) and Dave & Busters.

The list proves that advertisers cannot be trusted to regulate themselves when it comes to tracking and targeting consumers on the web or on mobile devices. There are currently few rules controlling how advertisers can use personal information gathered from consumers electronically, and if self regulation worked the FTC would not have brought action against these companies for privacy abuses (see pages 7 and 8):

  • Twitter
  • Dave & Buster’s
  • LifeLock
  • ValueClick
  • CVS Caremark
  • The TJX Cos. (TJ Maxx)
  • Reed Elsevier
  • DSW
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc.
  • Nationwide Mortgage Group
  • Petco Animal Supplies
  • Guess?
  • Microsoft Corp.
  • Lexis Nexis

In addition, the FTC has brought:

… 15 actions charging website operators with collecting information from children without parents’ consent, as well as 15 spyware cases and dozens of actions challenging illegal spam, …


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