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FTC Vows To Act Against Companies Making False Claims About Data Anonymization

The FTC has vowed to crack down against firms falsely promising online users about keeping their data anonymous.

The move is being dubbed as one to help protect the privacy of users online as so many companies find it alright to mislead thousands. But with the new crackdown operation in place, the FTC hopes to bring down the rates of such incidents taking place.

While issuing a new tech warning to users in the industry, the FTC revealed how it is a crime to make such false promises and then fail to fulfill them, classifying the act as a deceptive practice that needs to stop.

The warning comes just in time as the US President recently signed an executive order that has urged the privacy commission to protect digital users from trade practices involving reproductive health.

President Biden’s move came moments after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade which has sparked some major concerns among citizens who feel many women have been stripped from their rights to freedom.

There is more fear now than ever about state officials prosecuting people who try to seek an abortion. And they plan on doing that by taking out data of users with the help of tech firms so that abortion seekers can be prosecuted.

The decision to crack down came in the form of a blog post by the FTC which revealed how strongly committed they are to protecting every user’s privacy and details about reproductive health were also included.

The tone used in the post was quite vigorous, threatening plenty of firms against any illegal behavior that would count as exploitation of an American citizen’s right to privacy. This includes details of their location, health status, and any other sensitive details.

The FTC also shared how cunning some firms can be to get users on board via false marketing tactics that lure them. Promises are made but never kept about data being anonymous and how personal details are kept safe and sound with them.

In reality, details are quietly handed over to various firms in the marketing industry so they can make money off of the details unveiled.

Experts believe the biggest loophole in this scenario is related to the repetitive anonymous processes which continue to expose data related to a user’s personal behavior. This happens to be true when information gets combined with detail taken from other firms. They can be large-scale brokers or small-scale entities on the hunt for user information.

At the end of it all, you see them build up huge profiles regarding customers and make use of any inferences related to any locations that they’ve been to. And you just might be shocked at how much information is actually gathered.

The biggest concern that the FTC seems to be having is related to firms getting a hold of users’ location details and then forwarding them to various companies and third parties, all in the name of ‘anonymous’ data.

Meanwhile, new studies prove how such anonymous data end up getting identified again, especially when it comes down to locations and time.

Punishments could involve being sued with legal penalties assigned by the US court of law.


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