Yikes: F.T.C Is Hiring More Eyes To Watch You ... Are You Compliant? Check Here ...

by The Niche Man 25 replies
I notice the FTC is hiring more investigators (eyes) to watch the growing number of commercial websites and blogs. They'll focus on making sure blogs and websites are compliant. Some of the things they'll focus on are ..

1. The Data Protection Act - in terms of how you collect and store personal data.
2. Privacy Statement Compliance.
3. Your responsibilities if your site collects personal data using “cookies”.

Plus other key areas regarding your website or blog.

I notice loads of Warrior members who are out of compliance in different areas, hopefully they read this and tighten up their game.

If you're new to Internet marketing (or even a seasoned vet) it would be good to review the latest laws from the FTC. "I'm sorry I didn't know" is no longer tolerated. They're fining people and companies more and more. (Most fines start at $1000 at up).

Because they're hiring more eyes only means they're getting ready to get paid .. if they can.

Here's a link to the Latest Regulations for Internet Marketers

I admit reading it is not as sexy as reading "How to Make Money in Your Underwear Ads" ... but it could keep you out of trouble.

As always your comments are welcome.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #compliant #eyes #ftc #hiring #warning
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  • Profile picture of the author IMwithAnt
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Originally Posted by apiem View Post

      Thanks for the heads up
      Being in the UK, you are not really under United States law.

      Plus, that page is 14 years old. The US has changed many things since then.

      If you sell your own products, you should have already been doing such
      stuff. It's good a good business practice. If you are an affiliate, that stuff
      is built in.

      Of course, I'll end by saying the it's laughable for the the US (with the NSA),
      talking about "privacy."

      Paul
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        Being in the UK, you are not really under United States law.
        If you do business here you're under U.S Law.
        Plus the UK has similar laws ... Check it Out Here

        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        Plus, that page is 14 years old. The US has changed many things since then.
        It's from the FTC website and all those laws are still on the books.
        Originally Posted by paulgl View Post

        If you sell your own products, you should have already been doing such
        stuff. It's good a good business practice. If you are an affiliate, that stuff
        is built in.
        • That's dangerous to assume if you haven't checked, if you're an affiliate they could hold you responsible too. Make sure you ...Read the fine print.
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  • Profile picture of the author najam
    some very useful information and i believe every body should go through the info

    as you said it is not sexy to go through these type of info but some time we got to do things which is not sexy but in our favor
    thanks

    Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

    I notice the FTC is hiring more investigators (eyes) to watch the growing number of commercial websites. They'll focus on making sure websites are compliant. Some of the things they'll focus on are ..

    1. The Data Protection Act - in terms of how you collect and store that personal data.
    2. Privacy Statement Compliance.
    3. Your responsibilities if your site collects personal data using “cookies”.

    Plus other key areas regarding your website.

    I notice loads of Warrior members who are out of compliance in different areas, hopefully they read this and tighten up their game.

    If you're new to Internet marketing (or even a seasoned vet) it would be good to review the latest laws from the FTC. "I'm sorry I didn't know" is no longer tolerated. They're fining people and companies more and more.

    Because they're hiring more eyes only means they're getting ready to get paid .. if they can.

    Here's a link to the Latest Regulations for Internet Marketers

    I admit reading it is not as sexy as reading "How to Make Money in Your Underwear Ads" ... but it could keep you out of trouble.

    As always your comments are welcome.
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  • Profile picture of the author TomVa
    HOLY cow didn't ever think about it this way. I do follow it but didn't know if you didn't you would get fined etc.

    Advertising agencies or website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not simply rely on an advertiser's assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency's participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims.

    I LOVE this one, Refunds must be made to dissatisfied consumers - if you promised to make them.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by TomVa View Post

      HOLY cow didn't ever think about it this way. I do follow it but didn't know if you didn't you would get fined etc.

      Advertising agencies or website designers are responsible for reviewing the information used to substantiate ad claims. They may not simply rely on an advertiser's assurance that the claims are substantiated. In determining whether an ad agency should be held liable, the FTC looks at the extent of the agency's participation in the preparation of the challenged ad, and whether the agency knew or should have known that the ad included false or deceptive claims.

      I LOVE this one, Refunds must be made to dissatisfied consumers - if you promised to make them.
      Most of the regulations have been on the books for over a decade, but now I hear they're going to increase enforcement. They say to better protect the public, but I'm sure the possible increase in revenue is a motivator too. Let's be real.
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      • Profile picture of the author TomVa
        Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

        Most of the regulations have been on the books for over a decade, but now I hear they're going to increase enforcement. They say to better protect the public, but I'm sure the possible increase in revenue is a motivator too. Let's be real.
        Yea of course it's that!!! lol
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        • Profile picture of the author ronr
          Can you link to an article or page showing they are hiring more people? I would like to read it. Also could be useful to send clients who haven't been motivated about letting you put updated disclaimers on their websites

          thanks,

          Ron
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          • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
            Originally Posted by ronr View Post

            Can you link to an article or page showing they are hiring more people? I would like to read it. Also could be useful to send clients who haven't been motivated about letting you put updated disclaimers on their websites

            thanks,

            Ron
            Actually, it was part of a news segment on CNBC, where they were reporting on the rise in complaints about online marketers from consumers. Which is triggering a crackdown on online marketers . So they're hiring more investigators from within and outsourcing to meet the current demand.
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          • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
            Originally Posted by ronr View Post

            Also could be useful to send clients who haven't been motivated about letting you put updated disclaimers on their websites

            thanks,

            Ron
            Wow, anyone who won't put that on their website or blog, along with a privacy statement, etc. isn't that interested in protecting themselves. Or don't think "It" will ever happen to them. It's like having to talk someone into locking their car in a high-crime area. That's the way I'm looking at it now.
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  • Profile picture of the author kpmedia
    The FTC has been cracking down more on more since 2009.
    Those fake "review" sites are a cancer online, and are the reason for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sieg
    Originally Posted by The Niche Man View Post

    I'm sorry I didn't know" is no longer tolerated
    Definitely right.

    just be real with your marketing, and be professional.
    after all, this is a business. i don't understand why people have to be reminded.

    The Niche Man: Thanks again for this thread. I really appreciate you typing this up and give all the heads up.
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    Serious Internet marketers should not need a heads up because they strive to be compliant at all times. Nevertheless, it is easy to get complacent and assume you still have things up to date. Thanks for the reminder.

    Instead of hiring more investigators they should just offer a whistleblower reward. I don't mean going after the minor oversights of the generally honest marketers that just need a "warning". There are tons of commercial websites that are completely ignoring and purposely bypassing many of the laws. Giving a whistleblower a "10% of the fines reward" would expose a lot of these blatant scammers. Maybe.
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    • Profile picture of the author AUKev
      I am afraid the pendulum is going to over swing the wrong way toward enforcement and penalties. Whenever the government gets involved (or more involved in this case) they usually over reach.

      As marketers, we know there are a ton of scams out there from weight loss miracles, hair growth and male enhancement... which I am happy that false products are being penalized. My fear is that many legitimate marketers may get caught in the sweep for not knowing certain rules.

      Most of us do not do our own taxes because of the complexity of the tax laws and the potential for monetary fines or criminal charges. It would be smart for serious marketers that have legitimate businesses to consult an attorney to make sure all of your bases are covered. Lastly, if you are making real income and have a real business, talk to a commercial insurance agent that can potentially offer policies to cover 'errors and omissions' as well as an 'umbrella' policy to help cover any potential liabilities.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
        Originally Posted by AUKev View Post

        I am afraid the pendulum is going to over swing the wrong way toward enforcement and penalties.
        Woh! That's the gospel truth. At least according to history.
        Plus, with so much government scrutiny, they have to show the tax payers their getting a good "bang for their buck" - so to speak. That could tempt some to overstep their boundaries or even good judgement. We'll see ... stay tuned!
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        • Profile picture of the author Melissahoster
          Banned
          Does this mean if you are offering refunds on your site against specific clauses the customers cannot ask for a refund that does not classify under those clauses mentioned on my site?

          What I mean is we sometimes have to deal with people who would just hit the refund button as a whim without going through the terms of service on a site and that creates difficulties for the seller. Is there any kind of seller protection available too?
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          • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
            Originally Posted by Melissahoster View Post

            Does this mean if you are offering refunds on your site against specific clauses the customers cannot ask for a refund that does not classify under those clauses mentioned on my site?

            What I mean is we sometimes have to deal with people who would just hit the refund button as a whim without going through the terms of service on a site and that creates difficulties for the seller. Is there any kind of seller protection available too?
            Based on personal experience it's best just to refund customers money. For example I have a refund policy of 60 days on one of my products but I've had a customer who requested a refund after 90 days and another after 120 days, but I still refunded their money. To avoid the hassle, it's best to refund.

            The main thing is to make sure your product and service is of the highest quality possible. That will insure your refund rate is at least low.

            If you're getting high numbers of refunds from serial refunders you may want to look at how you're generating traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by Janice Sperry View Post

      Instead of hiring more investigators they should just offer a whistleblower reward. I don't mean going after the minor oversights of the generally honest marketers that just need a "warning". There are tons of commercial websites that are completely ignoring and purposely bypassing many of the laws. Giving a whistleblower a "10% of the fines reward" would expose a lot of these blatant scammers. Maybe.
      The FTC explored your suggestion back in 2004 but they ran into a few roadblocks ...See Short Article Here.

      But I think it's just a matter of time. Because that's the trend more Federal agencies are taking now.

      For example, you already have IRS, EPA, SEC and Medicare Whistleblower Rewards programs going.

      It wouldn't surprise me if there's people behind the scenes working on an FTC program again. Especially with the new enforcement push their implementing.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    This is great news. Consumer protection must come first. Hopefully, it leads to better protection, less fraud, less abuse, and better value.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doughnuts
    If you don't now you know the FTC is not playing around. Thanks for shedding light on this topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Good to know. Stay compliant and there's nothing to worry about.

    Thanks for the share.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlopez88
    Wow thanks for your post, i wasn't aware of all these new regulations,rules.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Niche Man
      Originally Posted by rlopez88 View Post

      Wow thanks for your post, i wasn't aware of all these new regulations,rules.
      Actually, most of them are not really new. Most have been on the books since early 2000.

      The F.T.C is just going to implement stronger enforcement because of an increase in complaints from consumers and consumer groups.

      We can thank questionable to downright fraudulent activities of others in our industry for this more aggressive enforcement.
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