The Federal Trade Commission has finally approved settlements with 13 different companies plus a debt collection agency. Charges were brought against the 14 companies that accused them of falsely claiming they were in association with the international framework called the U.S.-E.U. Safe Harbor. Three of the 14 companies also faced the same charges related to the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor.
The companies charged are from different industries which include consumer product manufacturers, retail, debt collection, professional sports, accounting services, and others. The settlements expressly forbid the companies from misrepresenting themselves to the public that they engage in any data security program sponsored by the government, or any other self-regulatory agency.
Among the companies named in the settlement are Tennessee Football Inc., Reynolds Consumer Products Inc., American Apparel, and debt collection agency, The Receivable Management Services Corporation. The majority of charges brought against the 14 companies involved a failure to recertify their Safe Harbor Frameworks, and Commerce credentials. In the case of The Receivable Management Services Corporation, the debt collection agency submitted a self-certification of compliance to the Safe Harbor Framework in 2009. The following year, the Receivable Management Services Corporation, failed to renew its certification. Still, they claimed to be a part of the Safe Harbor Framework in their privacy policies and statements on their website.
As a result, the FTC charged The Receivable Management Services Corporation, with, “deceptive acts or practices, in or affecting commerce, in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.” The U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Frameworks were enacted in 1995 as a method for American companies to transfer personal data from the EU. To join the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Frameworks, a company must go through a self-certification that says that they are compliant with seven principles and requirements that meet the EU’s adequacy standard. Any company underneath the jurisdiction of the FTC that fails to self-certify could be subject to enforcement action under the FTC’s deception authority.
The 14 companies charged by the FTC let their certification change from “current” underneath the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Frameworks to “not current.” eMerchantBroker.com is a high-risk payment processor that is staffed with FTC compliance experts. We will ensure your collection agency merchant account maintains its compliance so that your business is not interrupted or shut down due to FTC regulations.
Contact us at 1-800-621-4893 or click below to get started with your collection agency merchant account today.