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  1. #1
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    FTC collect's 2.9 million from Valueclick..
    Pretty Interesting Stuff....


    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2008/03/vc.shtm


    nline advertiser ValueClick, Inc., will pay a record $2.9 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its advertising claims and e-mails were deceptive and violated federal law. The agency also charged that ValueClick and its subsidiaries, Hi-Speed Media and E-Babylon failed to secure consumers’ sensitive financial information, despite their claims to do so. The settlement, filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC, requires ValueClick to clearly and conspicuously disclose the costs and obligations consumers must incur to receive the products it touts as “free” and bars future violations of the CAN-SPAM Act. The settlement also bars deceptive claims about the security of the consumer information collected at its e-commerce Web sites.

    According to the FTC, ValueClick subsidiary Hi-Speed Media used deceptive e-mails, banner ads, and pop-ups to drive consumers to its Web sites. The e-mails and online ads claimed that consumers were eligible for “free” gifts, including laptops, iPods, and high-value gift cards, and included come-ons such as “Free PS3 for survey,” and “CONGRATULATIONS! Select your FREE Plasma TV.” The FTC alleged that consumers lured to ValueClick’s Web sites by these promises were led through a maze of expensive and burdensome third-party offers – including car loans and satellite television subscriptions – which they were required to “participate in” at their own expense, in order to receive the promised “free” merchandise. The FTC charged that ValueClick’s use of deceptively labeled e-mail offering free gifts and its failure to disclose that consumers must expend substantial sums of money to obtain the promised “free” merchandise violates the CAN-SPAM Act and the FTC Act.

    The FTC also charged that ValueClick, Hi-Speed Media, and E-Babylon, misrepresented that they secured customers’ sensitive financial information consistent with industry standards. The FTC alleged the companies published online privacy policies claiming they encrypted customer information, but either failed to encrypt the information at all or used a non-standard and insecure form of encryption. The agency also charged that several of the companies’ e-commerce Web sites were vulnerable to SQL injection, a commonly known form of hacker attack, contrary to claims that the companies implemented reasonable security measures.

    The settlement bars future violations of the CAN-SPAM Act. It requires ValueClick and Hi-Speed Media to clearly and conspicuously disclose in their ads and on their promotional Web pages that consumers have to spend money or incur other obligations to qualify for “free” merchandise. The settlement also requires them to provide a list of the obligations – such as applying for credit cards, purchasing products, or obtaining a car loan – that consumers must incur to qualify for a free product. In addition, ValueClick and Hi-Speed Media will pay a $2.9 million civil penalty to resolve the Commission’s CAN-SPAM allegations. This is the largest settlement in a case based on the CAN-SPAM Act, enacted in 2003.

    The settlement also bars ValueClick, Hi-Speed Media, and E-Babylon from making misrepresentations about the use of encryption or other electronic measures to protect consumers’ information, and about the extent to which they protect personal information. The order also requires the companies to establish and maintain a comprehensive security program, and obtain independent third-party assessments of their programs, for 20 years.

    This is the FTC’s third case targeting the use of deceptive promises of free merchandise by Internet-based “lead generation” operations, and the Commission’s 18th case challenging data security practices by a company handling sensitive consumer information.

    The Commission vote to approve the stipulated final order was 5-0. It was filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by the Department of Justice at the FTC’s request.

    Along with this $1 Million Settlement.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...er-adware.html

  2. #2
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    “Free PS3 for survey,” and “CONGRATULATIONS! Select your FREE Plasma TV.”

    Those kinds of ads are always bogus, unfortunately some fall for it.

    Greed!

  3. #3
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    It should be obvious to most people that those 'free' offers are not free at all. However, some people really do fall for those 'free' merchandise offers, no matter what the cost to them.

    It is nice to see the ad company being penalized for the use of such misleading advertising.

  4. #4
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    blahblah, VC got busted again...blah...
    deceptive claims about the security of the consumer information collected at its e-commerce Web sites.<snip>

    misrepresented that they secured customers’ sensitive financial information consistent with industry standards.
    Since CJ is a ValueClick company, the above sentences are what jump off the page at me!

    I wonder if our direct deposit info is secure, or is it "secured" with paper clips and tape, too?

  5. #5
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    More to come?

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I will tell you now, I use to have a REP at Valueclick that use to tell me Valueclick loves spyware and trcking people because it's where the money is at. 2.9 million dollars doesn't hurt VC one bit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    More to come?
    Off-Topic, But i like the lay out of your lostgolfballs website. Did you design it your self or is it a Template?

    How many order's are you doing on Average a Month?

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