The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s primary privacy and data security enforcer, released its annual report highlighting its privacy and data security work for 2018.
The FTC’s privacy and security enforcement actions in 2018 included shutting down revenge porn website MyEx.com, approving a settlement with peer-to-peer payment service Venmo over deceptive privacy settings, approving an expanded settlement with Uber Technologies, Inc. to resolve data security and privacy allegations, and approving a privacy and data security settlement with mobile phone maker BLU Products, Inc. The FTC also obtained a $3 million civil penalty against RealPage, Inc., for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act by failing to ensure the accuracy of tenant screening information.
As part of its strong commitment to protecting children’s privacy, the FTC announced separate settlements with electronic toy maker VTech Electronics Limited and online talent site Explore Talent over allegations that they violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. The FTC also is committed to enforcing the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. In 2018, five U.S. companies settled FTC charges that they misled consumers about their participation in the Framework.
The FTC also issues reports, conducts research, and hosts events to discuss emerging issues in consumer privacy and security. In February 2018, FTC staff released a report examining security updates issued by mobile phone manufacturers, which coincided with the Commission’s third annual PrivacyCon event.
As part of its public Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century initiative, last year the FTC also hosted hearings on big data, privacy, and competition; competition and consumer protection issues associated with the use of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and predictive analytics; and data security.
The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.