FTC

Google agrees to refund millions in unauthorized IAPs

Google agrees to refund millions in unauthorized IAPs

The US Federal Trade Commission has just announced that Google has agreed to settle the complaint brought against it by the agency regarding the unfair and unauthorized billing of mobile subscribers via the dreaded in-app purchases setup. As part of that settlement, Google will be refunding those purchases, which amounts to a minimum of $19 million.

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T-Mobile CEO blasts FTC; Goes “double-down” on SMS outreach

T-Mobile CEO blasts FTC; Goes “double-down” on SMS outreach

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has waded into the FTC furore over premium text message fees, accusing the commission of political posturing, and announcing a boost to the carrier's proactive refund program. Allegations of charge-stuffing surfaced earlier this week, with T-Mobile accused by the FTC of "masking" outrageous fees for premium services as well as shirking its responsibilities for refunds.

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FTC: T-Mobile “crammed” bills with bogus fees, profited [UPDATE]

FTC: T-Mobile “crammed” bills with bogus fees, profited [UPDATE]

Turns out the “Uncarrier" may have been making some unreal money from their customers. A new FTC complaint levies some serious charges, which amount to the carrier bilking their subscribers. The complaint also alleges T-Mobile was taking steps to cover their tracks, and purposefully confusing customers with vague language and extensive paperwork.

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Snapchat settles FTC suit, admits guilt about security issues

Snapchat settles FTC suit, admits guilt about security issues

Snapchat, the messaging service promising disappearing messages, has settled a complaint with the FTC. The complaint involved several inconsistencies the FCC said were occurring within Snapchat’s service, running the gamut from the message service itself to the nature of information gathering Snapchat said it wasn’t doing. The settlement closes a chapter in the Snapchat saga, but opens up a can of worms.

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Tesla direct-sales bans frowned upon by FTC

Tesla direct-sales bans frowned upon by FTC

In a post today on its website, the FTC has voiced its opposition to state bans on direct car sales, the most notable of which being those that block Tesla's direct-to-consumers Model S sales model. The three directors behind the post go on to compare direct sales to other modern industry changes.

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Lax Android in-app purchase rules could get Google Play FTC attention [Updated]

Lax Android in-app purchase rules could get Google Play FTC attention [Updated]

Google has been been criticized for having just the sort of lax in-app purchase policies in the Google Play store that Apple will pay out a hefty $32.5m to settle over, after parents complained their children were free to rack up sizable App Store downloads. Apple's settlement - grudgingly agreed by CEO Tim Cook - came following complaints that iOS users were able to buy in-app purchases with no password required in the fifteen minute period following a download, a window of opportunity some children exploited. However, Consumer Reports discovered, the Google Play store offers an even bigger window than that.

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Apple’s remaining FTC in-app purchase penalty goes to… the FTC

Apple’s remaining FTC in-app purchase penalty goes to… the FTC

This week Apple and the FTC announced - in their own way - that they'd settled on a case which had the FTC reprimanding the computer company for their less-than-perfect dealings with in-app purchases and the young customers that took advantage of their abilities in iOS. Tim Cook's side of the story suggested that Apple still wasn't entirely happy with the situation, that the it "smacked of double jeopardy" because Apple was already in the process of paying their dues with a federal court. Here in reading the actual FTC consent agreement, we find that this isn't entirely true.

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Apple settles with FTC on in-app purchases; Tim Cook sounds off

Apple settles with FTC on in-app purchases; Tim Cook sounds off

This morning Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent out a letter to his employees about their talks with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over App Store in-app purchases. You'll find that Apple's chats with the FTC over the past few months have not been in vain, and have resulted in a negotiation ending in a consent decree. Cook suggests that "I know this announcement will come as a surprise to many of you since Apple has led the industry by making the App Store a safe place for customers of all ages."

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MPHJ Technology patent troll fights back, sues US federal government

MPHJ Technology patent troll fights back, sues US federal government

Patents, especially software patents, have become a major point of contention of late. Patent trolls are on the rise and the US government is, somewhat ambiguously, taking steps to lessen their activities. Curiously, one of the more well-known patent trolls, MPHJ Technology, has apparently chosen to bare its legal fangs against the government itself, by suing members of the US Federal Trade Commission.

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FTC to begin planning regulations for the “Internet of things”

FTC to begin planning regulations for the “Internet of things”

Connected home devices, such as network-enabled baby monitors, are often referred to as the "Internet of things," and as with other devices, will soon come under scrutiny of the Federal Trade Commission. Come November, the FTC will hold a meeting to deliberate about how it will regulate such connected devices, including issues related to how such gadgets share data.

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TRENDnet lax webcam security prompts first FTC action on connected home devices

TRENDnet lax webcam security prompts first FTC action on connected home devices

The Federal Trade Commission has made its first ever action against a maker of connected everyday devices, TRENDnet, for what it says is lax security despite promises stating otherwise. TRENDnet makes a variety of wireless webcams, connected home security cameras, and other such devices that connect to the Internet, devices that the FTC states left consumers' personal feeds open to public eyes.

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FTC tells search engines to better distinguish ads from results

FTC tells search engines to better distinguish ads from results

Whether you use Google or Yahoo! or some other search engine entirely, you've likely found yourself at some point clicking on a link, believing it to be a search result, only to be taken to what is obviously an advertisement, feeling annoyed all the while. This has become a more common problem over time as design changes make it harder to tell what results are money-backed, and in light of such the FTC is telling companies to make sure the distinction is clear.

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