In a press release, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it had reached a settlement with Compete Inc., a Boston-based Internet analytics firm, about alleged data collection without fully notifying consumers and failures to adequately protect the collected information. According to the FTC:
"... Compete got consumers to download its tracking software in several ways, including by urging them to join a “Consumer Input Panel” that was promoted using ads that pointed consumers to Compete’s website, www.consumerinput.com. Compete told consumers that by joining the “Panel” they could win rewards while sharing their opinions about products and services... The proposed settlement will require that Compete obtain consumers’ express consent before collecting any data from Compete software downloaded onto consumers’ computers, that the company delete or anonymize the use of the consumer data it already has collected, and that it provide directions to consumers for uninstalling its software... the settlement bars misrepresentations about the company’s privacy and data security practices and requires that it implement a comprehensive information security program with independent third-party audits every two years for 20 years."
The proposed settlement is open for comment by the public until November 19, 2012. After that time, the FTC will decide whether or not to make the proposed settlement final.