Tag: ftc

Facebook faces unwanted social media marketing and a US regulator complaint

The highly controversial “emotional contagion” study has led a digital privacy group to file a complaint with the FTC.

A digital privacy group is now landing Facebook with some negative social media marketing as it filed a complaint with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), with a request that those regulators look into the psychological experiments that were conducted on some of the users of the social network in 2012, without their knowledge or direct permission.

Facebook did not obtain permission before it went ahead with the social media research on user profiles.

The study altered the number of negative and positive comments in the news feeds that were seen by about 700,000 members of the site, said the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s complaint. This study has already created quite a stir and has drawn a lot of negative social media marketing attention to the network giant. The privacy group stated that sanctions should be imposed, including those that would require Facebook to disclose the formulas used within its software for determining the way in which the posts displayed in user news feeds are chosen.

Social media marketing for the company appears to have backfired, somewhat, as a result of the experiment.

Social Media Marketing - FacebookThe complaint filed to the FTC explained that “the company purposefully messed with people’s minds.” It also pointed out that the company made no attempt to advise the users of the social network that their data would be shared with the third party researchers for this or any other purpose.

The report that resulted from the experiment was published within the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in its June 17 edition and has been generating a massive amount of controversy since that time. It has exploded the concerns that had already been rising regarding the data privacy practices at Facebook within the United States as well as in other countries.

Last week, the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office released a statement that generated additional negative social media marketing for Facebook when it said that it wished to work with the company and the Irish Data Commissioner – the lead regulator for the company in Europe – in order to gain more information regarding the circumstances of the data collection and use.

Mobile payments security attracts attention of federal agency

Mobile Security FTCSecurity of mobile payments questioned by FTC

Mobile payments are becoming all the rage around the world, but there are major security concerns  that have been gaining more attention in some countries. Mobile commerce is on the rise in the U.S., and while that means more consumers are becoming acclimated to mobile payments, it also means that malicious parties are beginning to target these consumers. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released a new report highlighting the potential  threats that exist in the competitive world of mobile payments.

Report highlights threats of the mobile world

The report, entitled “Paper, Plastic, or Mobile?,” sheds light on the issue of mobile payments fraud in the U.S. The Federal Trade Commission has drawn upon the vast amount of information it has received from companies and organizations heavily invested in the mobile commerce industry for the report. The report also contains the concerns that consumers have raised over the issue of mobile security and commerce, with fraud and identity theft being among the most worrisome of issues.

Security lax when it comes to mobile commerce

The report notes that the concept of mobile payments has been a very attractive prospect for years. Despite the anticipation surrounding mobile payments, however, relatively little has been done to ensure the security of mobile commerce. The Federal Trade Commission suggests that there are various ways in which a consumer’s financial information can be stolen and exploited and that some of the security issues that consumers face are inherent in many of the most popular mobile commerce platforms.

Credit cards considered most secure option for consumers

While the report suggests that mobile payments are very effective for purposes such as bill payments and shopping, the Federal Trade Commission remains unconvinced that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets provide enough security to make mobile payments feasible. The agency claims that credit cards offer the strongest security for consumers, especially when it comes to the matter of fraud.