U.S. FTC cracks down on illegal use of citizen data

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned that it will clamp down on the illegal use and disclosure of sensitive citizens’ data by tech organizations, as well as on false claims by companies about anonymization of data.

In the U.S., health data and user location were collected without their consent. Mobile apps with embedded software development kits (SDKs) collect and share anonymized user information with third-parties such as data aggregators, who collect the data from myriad sources and then sell access to it.

“These companies often build profiles about consumers and draw inferences about them based on the places they have visited. Companies may try to placate consumers’ privacy concerns by claiming they anonymize or aggregate data. Firms making claims about anonymization should be on guard that these claims can be a deceptive trade practice and violate the FTC Act when untrue,” the FTC said.

The FTC said that misuse of location and health information causes “significant harm” to users, and the FTC plans to “vigorously enforce” the law if it uncovers cases of location, health or other sensitive data being used for profit or other ulterior motives.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheHackerNews.

IT World Canada Staff
IT World Canada Staff
The online resource for Canadian Information Technology professionals.

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