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Articles

FTC Releases Report on M-Commerce Marketplace

April 23, 2009

Articles

FTC Releases Report on M-Commerce Marketplace

April 23, 2009

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a report exploring consumer protection issues arising in the mobile commerce (M-Commerce) marketplace. Examples of M-Commerce applications include mobile messaging and location-based services, as well as the purchase of ringtones for mobile phones. The report is based upon a public town hall meeting the FTC hosted in May 2008 and includes a summary of panelists’ remarks and related comments by industry and other stakeholders.

In addition, the FTC made three key conclusions regarding M-Commerce, namely:

  • Some service providers continue to provide inadequate disclosures to consumers concerning the cost of mobile services. The FTC staff will continue to monitor cost disclosures, bring law enforcement actions as appropriate and work with the industry on improving its self-regulatory enforcement.
  • The FTC and its law enforcement partners should continue to monitor the impact on consumers of unwanted mobile text messaging, malware and spyware, and take law enforcement action as needed. Industry and other stakeholders are also encouraged to continue to develop strategies that prevent or minimize these issues.
  • The FTC will commence regulatory review of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule (which regulates acts or practices that are connected with the collection, use or disclosure of personal information from and about children on the internet) in 2010, instead of 2015 (as originally planned), to determine whether the rule should in any way be modified to address changes in the mobile marketplace.

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