federal trade commission

The Challenging Future Of American’s Privacy

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/02/technology/when-no-one-is-just-a-face-in-the-crowd.html?_r=1 Fitbit, Nike, and Garmin could sell your personal fitness data without your permission: Fitness-minded Americans have started wearing sporty wrist-band devices that track tons of data: Weight, mile splits, steps taken per day, sleep quality, sexual activity , calories burned—sometimes, even GPS location . People use this data to keep track of their health, and are able send the information to various websites and apps. But this sensitive, personal data could end up in the hands of corporations looking to target these users with advertising, get credit ratings, or determine insurance rates. In other words, that device could start spying on you—and the Federal Trade Commission is worried.  "Health data from [a woman’s] connected device, may be collected and then sold to data brokers and other companies she does not know exist," Jessica Rich, director of the Bureau for Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission, said in a speech on Tuesday for  Data Privacy Day . "These companies could use her information to market other products and services to her; make decisions about her eligibility for credit, employment, or insurance; and share with yet other companies. And many of these companies may not maintain reasonable safeguards to protect the data they maintain about her." Several major US-based fitness device companies contacted by Mother Jones —Fitbit, Garmin, and Nike—say they don’t sell personally identifiable information collected from fitness devices. But privacy advocates warn that the policies of these firms could allow them to sell data. When you buy one of these bracelets or clip-on devices, you have […]

FTC To Scrutinize New Facebook Facial Recognition Feature

U.S. officials will examine changes to Facebook Inc’s privacy policy to determine whether they violate a 2011 agreement with federal regulators, a Federal Trade Commission spokesman confirmed Wednesday after certain changes drew fire from privacy advocates. Much of the criticism has focused on a proposed “Tag Suggest” feature that would use facial recognition technology to […]