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FTC Slams Avast with $16.5 Million Fine for Selling Users' Browsing Data

FTC Slams Avast with $16.5 Million Fine for Selling Users' Browsing Data
Feb 23, 2024 Privacy / Regulatory Compliance
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hit antivirus vendor Avast with a $16.5 million fine over charges that the firm sold users' browsing data to advertisers after claiming its products would block online tracking. In addition, the company has been banned from selling or licensing any web browsing data for advertising purposes. It will also have to notify users whose browsing data was sold to third parties without their consent. The FTC, in its complaint,  said  Avast "unfairly collected consumers' browsing information through the company's browser extensions and antivirus software, stored it indefinitely, and sold it without adequate notice and without consumer consent." It also accused the U.K.-based company of deceiving users by claiming that the software would block third-party tracking and protect users' privacy, but failing to inform them that it would sell their "detailed, re-identifiable browsing data" to more than 100 third-partie

FTC Bans InMarket for Selling Precise User Location Without Consent

FTC Bans InMarket for Selling Precise User Location Without Consent
Jan 22, 2024 Privacy / Technology
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is continuing to clamp down on data brokers by prohibiting InMarket Media from selling or licensing precise location data. The settlement is part of allegations that the Texas-based company did not inform or seek consent from consumers before using their location information for advertising and marketing purposes. "InMarket will also be prohibited from selling, licensing, transferring, or sharing any product or service that categorizes or targets consumers based on sensitive location data," the FTC  said  last week. In addition, it has been ordered to destroy all the location data it previously collected subject to users' assent, as well as provide a mechanism for consumers to withdraw their consent and request for deletion of the information previously collected. The development makes InMarket the second data aggregator to face a ban in as many weeks after Outlogic (formerly X-Mode Social), which  faced accusations  that it

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024

Cybersecurity Tactics FinServ Institutions Can Bank On in 2024
Feb 14, 2024Financial Security / Cyber Threats
The landscape of cybersecurity in financial services is undergoing a rapid transformation. Cybercriminals are exploiting advanced technologies and methodologies, making traditional security measures obsolete. The challenges are compounded for community banks that must safeguard sensitive financial data against the same level of sophisticated threats as larger institutions, but often with more limited resources. The FinServ Threat Landscape Recent trends show an alarming increase in sophisticated cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals now deploy advanced techniques like deep fake technology and AI-powered attacks, making it increasingly difficult for banks to differentiate between legitimate and malicious activities. These developments necessitate a shift towards more sophisticated and adaptive cybersecurity measures. Take these industry statistics, for example. Financial firms report 703 cyberattack attempts per week.1 On average, 270 attacks (entailing unauthorized access of data, appl

FTC Slams Amazon with $30.8M Fine for Privacy Violations Involving Alexa and Ring

FTC Slams Amazon with $30.8M Fine for Privacy Violations Involving Alexa and Ring
Jun 03, 2023 Privacy / Technology
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Amazon a cumulative $30.8 million over a series of privacy lapses regarding its Alexa assistant and Ring security cameras. This comprises a $25 million penalty for breaching children's privacy laws by retaining their Alexa voice recordings for indefinite time periods and preventing parents from exercising their deletion rights. "Amazon's history of misleading parents, keeping children's recordings indefinitely, and flouting parents' deletion requests violated  COPPA  and sacrificed privacy for profits," FTC's Samuel Levine said. As part of the court order, the retail giant has been mandated to delete the collected information, including inactive child accounts, geolocation data, and voice recordings, and prohibited from gathering such data to train its algorithms. It's also required to disclose to customers its data retention practices. Amazon has also agreed to fork out an additional $5.8 million

The Critical State of AI in the Cloud

cyber security
websiteWiz.ioArtificial Intelligence / Cloud Security
Wiz Research reveals the explosive growth of AI adoption and what 150,000+ cloud accounts revealed about the AI surge.

FTC Sues Data Broker Over Selling Location Data for Hundreds of Millions of Phones

FTC Sues Data Broker Over Selling Location Data for Hundreds of Millions of Phones
Aug 30, 2022
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Monday said it filed a lawsuit against Kochava, a location data broker, for collecting and selling precise geolocation data gathered from consumers' mobile devices. The complaint alleges that the U.S. company  amasses  a "wealth of information" about users by purchasing data from other data brokers to sell to its own clients. "Kochava then sells customized data feeds to its clients to, among other purposes, assist in advertising and analyzing foot traffic at stores or other locations," the FTC  said . "Among other categories, Kochava sells timestamped latitude and longitude coordinates showing the location of mobile devices." The Idaho-based company advertises itself as a "real-time data solutions company" and the "largest independent data marketplace for connected devices." It also claims its  Kochava Collective  data marketplace provides "premium data feeds, audience targeting, a

48 U.S. States and FTC are suing Facebook for illegal monopolization

48 U.S. States and FTC are suing Facebook for illegal monopolization
Dec 10, 2020
The US Federal Trade Commission and a coalition of 48 state attorneys general on Wednesday filed a pair of sweeping antitrust suits against Facebook, alleging that the company abused its power in the marketplace to neutralize competitors through its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp and depriving users of better privacy-friendly alternatives. "Facebook has engaged in a systematic strategy — including its 2012 acquisition of up-and-coming rival Instagram, its 2014 acquisition of the mobile messaging app WhatsApp, and the imposition of anti-competitive conditions on software developers — to eliminate threats to its monopoly," the FTC  said  in its complaint. A  separate lawsuit  filed by New York Attorney General Letitia James also claimed that in illegally acquiring competitors in a predatory manner, the social media company stripped users of the benefits of competition, limited consumer choices, and their access to rivals with better privacy practices. Specifically,

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years

Facebook Agrees to Pay $5 Billion Fine and Setup New Privacy Program for 20 Years
Jul 24, 2019
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today officially confirmed that Facebook has agreed to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine over privacy violations surrounding the Cambridge Analytica scandal . Besides the multibillion-dollar penalty, the company has also accepted a 20-year-long agreement that enforces it to implement a new organizational framework designed to strengthen its data privacy practices and policies. The agreement requires Facebook to make some major structural changes, as explained below, that will hold the company accountable for the decisions it makes about its users' privacy and information it collects on them. "The order requires Facebook to restructure its approach to privacy from the corporate board-level down, and establishes strong new mechanisms to ensure that Facebook executives are accountable for the decisions they make about privacy and that those decisions are subject to meaningful oversight," the FTC said in a press release . Ac

Equifax to Pay up to $700 Million in 2017 Data Breach Settlement

Equifax to Pay up to $700 Million in 2017 Data Breach Settlement
Jul 23, 2019
Equifax, one of the three largest credit-reporting firms in the United States, has to pay up to $700 million in fines to settle a series of state and federal investigations into the massive 2017 data breach that exposed the personal and financial data of nearly 150 million Americans—that's almost half the country. According to an official announcement by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today, Equifax has agreed to pay at least $575 million in fines, but this penalty could rise to up to $700 million depending on the amount of compensation people claim. Up to $425 million of the fines will go to a fund that will provide credit monitoring services to affected customers and compensate anyone who bought such services from the company and paid other related expenses as a result of the breach . Rest $175 million and $100 million will go to civil penalties across 50 states and to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), respectively. Besides the penalty, the co

Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine to Settle FTC Privacy Investigation

Facebook to Pay $5 Billion Fine to Settle FTC Privacy Investigation
Jul 13, 2019
After months of negotiations, the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved a record $5 billion settlement with Facebook over its privacy investigation into the Cambridge Analytica scandal . The settlement will put an end to a wide-ranging probe that began more than a year ago and centers around the violation of a 2011 agreement Facebook made with the FTC that required Facebook to gain explicit consent from users to share their personal data. The FTC launched an investigation into the social media giant last year after it was revealed that the company allowed Cambridge Analytica access to the personal data of around  87 million Facebook users without their explicit consent. Now, according to a new report published by the Wall Street Journal, the FTC commissioners this week finally voted to approve a $5 billion settlement, with three Republicans voting to approve the deal and two Democrats against it. Facebook anticipated the fine to between $3 billion and
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