Tag: federal trade commission

Federal report focuses on mobile commerce apps

FTC report finds that many mobile applications are falling short

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has released a new report focused on the mobile commerce space. According to the report, mobile commerce applications lack the mechanisms necessary to resolve payment disputes coming from those that use them. These application may also be unable to adequately protect their user’s privacy. These are issues that have often been points of criticism in the mobile shopping realm, but relatively little has been done to resolve the problems associated with these issues.

Report shows that apps are not providing consumers with the information that they need

The report from the Federal Trade Commission outlines significant shortcomings in the disclosures that applications offered to consumers regarding rights and certain liability limitations. Many of these applications were very ambiguous in detailing what consumer information is accessed and how this information is being used. These apps also lacked effective anti-fraud mechanisms, which may be putting consumer financial information at risk.

Apps are playing a larger role in the digital shopping experience

Mobile Commerce - App FocusMobile applications are beginning to play a more central role in the shopping experience. Consumers are beginning to use apps to find and purchase products that they are interested in, but some of these apps are unable to provide an effective service to these people. In some cases, these applications fail completely in processing a payment, leaving payment information in a state of limbo and frustrating consumers.

Mobile commerce is beginning to see more regulatory attention in the U.S. and other parts of the world

As mobile commerce continues to grow more popular, it will fall under more aggressive regulatory scrutiny. The mobile payments space is still in a state of infancy and, as such, may not have appropriate measures in place to protect consumers and their financial information. Services that do not offer adequate protection or properly inform consumers about payment dispute resolutions and information collection may find it difficult to find long lasting success. With competition in the mobile commerce market as aggressive as it is currently, few platforms can afford to alienate consumers.

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.