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I've Been Mugged Blog



Consumer views and news since 2007 about identity theft, privacy, and corporate responsibility -- by George Jenkins



Updated: 2018-04-16T12:58:00-04:00

 



Backpage Executive Pled Guilty In Three States. Several Other Executives Indicted

2018-04-16T12:58:00-04:00

Late last week, the Washington Post reported: "Carl Ferrer, the chief executive of Backpage.com whose name was conspicuously absent from an indictment of seven other Backpage officials unsealed Monday, has pleaded guilty in state courts in California and Texas and federal court in Arizona to charges of money laundering and...



Fair Housing Groups Sue Facebook for Allowing Discrimination in Housing Ads

2018-04-06T12:12:59-04:00

[Editor's Note: today's guest post, by reporters at ProPublica, is the latest in a series about advertising and social networking services. It is reprinted with permission.] By Julia Angwin and Ariana Tobin, ProPublica In February 2017, in response to a ProPublica investigation, Facebook pledged to crack down on efforts by...



Securities & Exchange Commission Charges Former Equifax Executive With Insider Trading

2018-03-19T09:00:00-04:00

Last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a former Equifax executive with insider trading. While an employee, Jun Ying allegedly used confidential information to dump stock and avoid losses before Equifax announced its massive data breach in September, 2017. The SEC announced on March 14th that it...



Analysis: Closing The 'Regulatory Donut Hole' - The 9th Circuit Appeals Court, AT&T, The FCC And The FTC

2018-02-27T18:23:13-05:00

The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) site has a good article explaining what a recent appeals court decision means for everyone who uses the internet: "When the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, in September 2016, that the Federal Trade Commission did not have the authority to regulate...



Advertising Agency Paid $2 Million To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

2018-02-12T09:30:00-05:00

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Minneapolis-based Marketing Architects, Inc. (MAI): "... an advertising agency that created and disseminated allegedly deceptive radio ads for weight-loss products marketed by its client, Direct Alternatives, has agreed to pay $2 million to the Federal Trade Commission and State of Maine Attorney...



Fresenius Medical Care To Pay $3.5 Million For 5 Small Data Breaches During 2012

2018-02-02T13:58:13-05:00

Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement agreement regarding five small data breaches the Massachusetts-based healthcare organization experienced during 2012. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. does business under the name Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA). This represents one of the largest HIPAA settlements ever...



Net Neutrality: Massachusetts Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Against FCC. What Next?

2017-12-20T15:20:25-05:00

The Attorney General (AG) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is suing the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the FCC voted on December 14th to repeal existing net neutrality rules protecting consumers. Maura Healey, the Massachusetts AG, announced that her office has joined a multi-state lawsuit with the New York...



$5.5 Million Settlement Agreement Between Nationwide Insurance And 32 States

2017-08-15T09:00:00-04:00

Last week, 32 states inked a settlement agreement with Nationwide Mutual Insurance for the insurance company's data breach in 2012. The Attorney General's Office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts participated in the agreement, and explained in an announcement: that the data breach reach in 2012 was: "... allegedly caused by...



Homeowners Receive $6.3 Million In Refunds Due To Improper Charges By Insurance Company

2017-08-14T09:00:00-04:00

Last week, the Attorney General's office for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced the results of a post-settlement agreement audit with American Security Insurance Company, a subsidiary of Assurant, Inc., where homeowners in the state will receive $6.3 million in refunds for improper "forced-place insurance" charges. The announcement explained: "Force-placed insurance...



Microsoft Fights Foreign Cyber Criminals And Spies

2017-07-24T10:19:27-04:00

The Daily Beast explained how Microsoft fights cyber criminals and spies, some of whom with alleged ties to the Kremlin: "Last year attorneys for the software maker quietly sued the hacker group known as Fancy Bear in a federal court outside Washington DC, accusing it of computer intrusion, cybersquatting, and...



U.S. Treasury Department Fined ExxonMobil $2 Million For Sanction Violations

2017-07-21T10:00:00-04:00

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury fined ExxonMobil Corporation $2 million for violations of sanctions while current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the company's Chief Executive Officer. The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) within the Treasury Department issued the fine. According to the announcement: "Between on...



Attorneys General In Several States Announce Settlement Agreements With Target

2017-05-27T15:18:20-04:00

The Office of the Attorney General (AG) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that the state will receive $625,000 as part of the settlement agreement with Target Corporation. The settlement agreement, which includes 47 states plus the District of Colombia, resolves claims by states about the retailer's massive...



LeapLab And Other Defendants Settled With FTC

2017-04-21T12:02:20-04:00

Recently, a reader wrote via e-mail with feedback about this December 2014 blog post which discussed a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against a data broker, LeapLab, and other defendants. The suit alleged that the defendants sold consumers' sensitive personal information to fraudsters. The reader was...



Lawsuit Claims The Uber Mobile App Scams Both Riders And Drivers

2017-04-06T16:31:57-04:00

A class-action lawsuit against Uber claims that the ride-sharing company manipulated its mobile app to simultaneously short-change drivers and over-charge riders. Ars Technica reported: "When a rider uses Uber's app to hail a ride, the fare the app immediately shows to the passenger is based on a slower and longer...



Minnesota Judge Signed Warrant For Users' Google Search Data About A Person's Name

2017-03-21T09:35:10-04:00

A Minnesota court judge has signed what appears to be a stunningly broad search warrant to compel Google to provide search information to local law enforcement. The request for search data is part of an identity theft and fraud case. The search warrant requests information about anyone searching for variations...



Maker Of Smart Vibrators To Pay $3.75 Million To Settle Privacy Lawsuit

2017-03-20T08:30:00-04:00

Today's smart homes contain a variety of internet-connected appliances -- televisions, utility meters, hot water heaters, thermostats, refrigerators, security systems-- and devices you might not expect to have WiFi connections: mouse traps, wine bottles, crock pots, toy dolls, and trash/recycle bins. Add smart vibrators to the list. We-Vibe, a maker...



4 Charged, Including Russian Government Agents, In Massive Yahoo Hack

2017-03-16T08:30:00-04:00

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced yesterday that a grand jury in the Northern District of California has indicted four defendants, including two officers of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), for computer hacking, economic espionage and other criminal offenses related to the massive hack of millions of Yahoo...



VIZIO To Pay $2.2 Million To Settle Privacy Charges About Its Smart TVs

2017-02-07T12:36:20-05:00

Today's blog post highlights how easy it is for manufacturers to make and sell smart-home devices that spy on consumers without notice nor consent. VIZIO, Inc., one of the largest makers of smart televisions, agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle privacy abuse charges by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission...



Western Union Admitted To Money-Laundering Charges. To Pay $586 Million Fine

2017-01-25T08:30:00-05:00

A news item you may have missed during the run-up to the Presidential Inauguration. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced settlement agreements with Western Union where the company admitted to money-laundering charges and agreed to pay $586 million in fines and restitution. Western Union inked settlement agreements with the...



Several Banks Fined Billions By Justice Department For Alleged Wrongdoing

2017-01-23T16:00:00-05:00

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced last week several settlement agreements and fines against several banks. First, for conduct with the packaging, securitization, issuance, marketing and sale of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) between 2005 and 2007, Credit Suisse will pay about $5.3 billion in...