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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus