Your mobile phone sets your home alarm system. Your tablet schedules the DVR in your bedroom TV. Your smart watch sends your blood pressure levels to your physician. Every day more and more consumer devices communicate with each other over the internet. Some people call this growing network the “Internet of Things.”
Assistant Director, Consumer & Business Education, FTC
FTC staff has a proud history of collaborating with legal services and victims’ rights groups, sharing legal resources and information and training hundreds of advocates throughout the country about a number of important consumer protection issues. Along the way, we’ve gotten many questions about how to help people reduce their risk of identity theft — and how to help them recover from the crime.
The mobile apps market is thriving and lots of app developers are striving to be players in the game. If you’re developing apps for smartphones, tablets or other mobile devices, there are some basic truth-in-advertising standards and privacy principles that apply to you.
Acting Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC
National Consumer Protection Weeks begins today, and it’s the biggest and best NCPW in 15 years. Thanks to 64 federal, state and local agencies and nonprofits that are putting the spotlight on the critical consumer protection work they do year-round, consumers have easy access to a tremendous variety of timely, useful information about recognizing and reporting frauds and scams, managing credit and debt, using technology, and staying healthy and safe.
The FTC and HTC America announced a settlement recently that requires the company to fix security flaws in their smart phones and tablets that put users’ sensitive information at risk. If you’re wondering whether your device was affected, you’ll be relieved to know there’s a new webpage for HTC users that lists affected HTC devices and the status of updates, along with a toll-free number for information (866-449-8358) that is staffed from 8 am to 1 am EST.
If you’re thinking about applying for an online payday loan, you might be dealing with a direct lender – or you might be dealing with a loan aggregator. A direct lender lends you the money; a loan aggregator is a middleman – a company that collects your personal and financial information on a loan application and shops it around to lenders who might offer you a loan.
What’s not to like about the convenience of free public Wi-Fi? It’s nice to be able to connect to the internet when you’re away from home. Unfortunately, these hotspots often aren’t secure. If you go online using public Wi-Fi — like at an airport or a coffee shop — you may unintentionally share personal information with strangers.