The Washington Post published new revelations from Edward Snowden’s leaked documents that revealed that the NSA is scooping up millions of email and IM address books globally. This is a serious piece of snooping business, and it deserves immediate attention on a policy level. For people who are reading this and wondering what you can do today, right now, here are some immediate steps to take.
Seniors, scams, and sweepstakes — The FTC busted an international sweepstakes scam that spanned 156 countries and raked in $11 million from consumers, primarily those over 65 years of age. “We are pleased the FTC has ended this scam,” said Pam Dixon, WPF’s executive director. “We are consistently seeing that seniors who did not grow up
April 18, 2013 Do you give your zip code to retailers when you buy something? Think twice before you blurt out “90210.” WPF’s Pam Dixon spoke to Melanie Hicken of CNN Money about data brokers and how our actions and habits define us, and potentially, can shape some of our opportunities — and not
Mobile privacy — Mobile app privacy is the topic of the multistakeholder process to be undertaken this week under the direction of the US Department of Commerce. Over the weekend, a NYT article revealed that mobile carriers received more than 1.3 million requests by law enforcement for mobile data, including requests for text messages. This article is a focusing event. It is a reminder that in mobile privacy we need to put the consumer first, focus on what is important, and apply responsibility for privacy and transparency throughout the hierarchy of mobile players, from carriers to platforms to app stores to publishers to developers. It is unclear yet what segments of the hierarchy require what amounts of the burden, but what is clear is that carriers will certainly need to do a lot. It is also clear that the idea of just an icon on a screen to communicate the idea of mobile privacy to consumers is a band-aid approach at best when faced with the truth of where some of the real risks are for consumers.
LifeLock — The Federal Trade Commission began sending checks to almost a million consumers who were subscribers to the LifeLock ID theft protection service. LifeLock agreed to pay fines of $11 million to the FTC and $1 million to a group of state attorneys generals to settle charges that had been made against the company. Consumers with questions about this distribution may call 888-288-0783 or see the FTC’s web page on this, http://www.ftc.gov/refunds.