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Federal Trade Commission Acts Late and Ineffectively on EPIC Complaint Regarding Echometrix

The Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement of its charges against Echometrix, over one year after EPIC filed a complaint in this matter. Echometrix is a software company that sold "parental control software" that collected data on children using the Internet for marketing purposes. Under the settlement with the Agency, Echometrix agreed not to share any data and to destroy the information it had collected in its marketing database, but was not required to pay any fines. EPIC's complaint to the Agency highlighted several aspects of Echometrix products that threatened consumer privacy, and alleged that Echometrix had engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices and violated the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. In contrast to the Federal Trade Commission, the Defense Department quickly canceled a contract with Echometrix following EPIC's complaint, and the New York Attorney General filed charges against the company, which resulted in Echometrix paying a $100,000 penalty to the state of New York. For more information, see EPIC: Echometrix.

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