Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

FTC to Settle With Analytics Firm Compete Over Data Collection Privacy and Security

Web analytics company Compete has agreed to settle with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over unfair and deceptive personal data collection practices.

Compete said it would be audited every two years for the next 20, and would also give users better anonymization, consent agreements and disclosures.

Previously, Compete’s opt-in tracking software collected more information than it said it did — including search terms, passwords and credit card information — and transmitted that information in clear text. Meanwhile, the company told users that all their personal data was being stripped and protected.

But most of what’s being discussed dates back to how Compete’s tracking software worked prior to 2010, when the company stepped up its filtering and encryption.

The FTC settlement isn’t final yet, but the commissioners have already approved it.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik