FTC Obtains Consumer Privacy Consent Order From Web Analytics Company


On October 22, the FTC announced a proposed consent order with an Internet tracking and analytics company that allegedly gathered personal data without consumer consent and failed to honor its promises to protect personal data. According to the FTC, Compete Inc. encouraged consumers to download its tracking software by promising rewards and information about the websites that customers visited. After installation, Compete’s software automatically collected information that consumers entered into websites, including usernames, passwords, search terms, and credit card and Social Security numbers. The FTC stated that Compete violated promises to consumers to collect only the names of websites that consumers visited, to remove personally identifiable information, and to protect consumer information. The proposed consent order requires Compete to (i) fully disclose what information it collects, (ii) obtain consumers’ express consent prior to collecting data, (iii) delete or anonymize previously collected information, and (iv) implement an information security program with regular third-party audits for the next twenty years.