FTC enforcement of data protection

Since 2001, the FTC has filed charges against 25 businesses for failure to protect consumers’ information. The cases were cited in their May 5th testimony and comments (pdf) in Congress about two bills being considered: H.R. 2221, the Data Accountability and Protection Act, and H.R. 1319, the Informed P2P User Act.

The cases fall into five major types:

  1. Businesses that allegedly misrepresented their own security procedures by claiming that they had strong security protection when they failed to employ even basic security protections: Microsoft, Petco, Tower Records, Life is good, and Premier Capital Lending.
  2. Businesses that failed to protect consumer data from simple and well-known type of attacks such as an SQL injection (Genica Corp., Guidance Software) or businesses that failed to implement simple technologies to counteract basic security threats (TJX, Reed Elsevier and Seisint).
  3. Businesses that failed to use reasonable procedures to verify the legitimacy of
    its customers or those accessing consumer data: Choicepoint.
  4. Businesses that retained sensitive consumer information that they no longer needed:
    BJ’s Warehouse, DSW Shoe Warehouse, and CardSystems Solutions.
  5. Businesses that did not dispose of sensitive consumer information properly: CVS Caremark.

The 25 cases were:

  • United States v. Rental Research Svcs., No. ________ (D. Minn. Mar. 5, 2009);
  • Federal Trade Commission v.  Navone, No. 2:08-CV-001842 (D. Nev. Dec. 30, 2008);
  • United States v. ValueClick, Inc., No. 2:08-CV-01711 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2008);
  • United States v. American United Mortgage, No. 1:07-CV-07064 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 18, 2007);
  • United States v. ChoicePoint, Inc., No. 1:06-CV-0198 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 15, 2006);
  • In the Matter of CVS Caremark Corporation, File No. 072 3119 (Feb. 19, 2009) (accepted for public comment);
  • In the Matter of Genica Corp., File No. 082 3113 (Feb. 5, 2009) (accepted for public comment);
  • In the Matter of Premier Capital Lending, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4241 (Dec. 10, 2008);
  • In the Matter of The TJX Cos., FTC Docket No. C-4227 (July 29, 2008);
  • In the Matter of Reed Elsevier Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4226 (July 29, 2008);
  • In the Matter of Life is good, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4218 (Apr. 16, 2008);
  • In the Matter of Goal Fin., LLC, FTC Docket No. C-4216 (Apr. 9, 2008);
  • In the Matter of Guidance Software, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4187 (Mar. 30, 2007);
  • In the Matter of CardSystems Solutions, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4168 (Sept. 5, 2006);
  • In the Matter of Nations Title Agency, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4161 (June 19, 2006);
  • In the Matter of DSW, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4157 (Mar. 7, 2006);
  • In the Matter of Superior Mortgage Corp., FTC Docket No. C-4153 (Dec. 14, 2005);
  • In the Matter of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4148 (Sept. 20, 2005);
  • In the Matter of Nationwide Mortgage Group, Inc., FTC Docket No. 9319 (Apr. 12, 2005);
  • In the Matter of Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4133 (Mar. 4, 2005);
  • In the Matter of Sunbelt Lending Servs., Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4129 (Jan. 3, 2005);
  • In the Matter of MTS Inc., d/b/a Tower Records/Books/Video, FTC Docket No. C-4110 (May 28, 2004);
  • In the Matter of Guess?, Inc., FTC Docket No. C-4091 (July 30, 2003);
  • In the Matter of Microsoft Corp., FTC Docket No. C-4069 (Dec. 20, 2002);
  • In the Matter of Eli Lilly & Co., FTC Docket No. C-4047 (May 8, 2002).

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