FTC seeks extensive information from firms being investigated for P2P breaches
Firms asked to submit technology, process-related information dating back to 2007
Computerworld - Several companies being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission for inadvertently exposing customer and employee data on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks, have been asked by the agency to submit extensive information on their data-collection, usage and protection practices.
A redacted copy of a request for such information, which the FTC sent to a company that's under investigation, was obtained by Computerworld. It showed the agency is seeking information, dating back to mid-2007, on a wide-range of technology and process-related topics.
For instance, the FTC is asking for detailed information on the types of personal information being collected by the company, the purpose for which it is being used, and how the data is collected, shared and stored.
The letter seeks "detailed descriptions" on how the company compiles, maintains and stores personal information, as well as "high-level diagrams setting out the flow paths" of personal information from source to the point of use.
The company is also required to identify by name, location and operating system every computer that is used to collect and store personal information. In addition, it is required to provide a "narrative" or a blueprint that describes network components in minute detail, down to individual firewalls and routers, and even database tables and field names containing personal data.
The FTC is also requiring any information the company has about its knowledge of the data leaks. The details sought include who knew about the breaches, when, what attempts the company made to inform affected individuals, and why P2P software was allowed to be installed on a company system.
The FTC's 12-page Civil Investigative Demand (CID) letter, which Computerworld viewed, is essentially a federal subpoena that signals the start of a full-fledged federal investigation of a company.
Earlier this week, the FTC announced that it had launched "non-public" investigations against an undisclosed number of companies after discovering they had leaked sensitive personal information on P2P networks.
The companies were targeted for the investigation following a broad FTC probe, during which the agency discovered confidential data from scores of companies available publicly on file-sharing networks.
The data discovered by the FTC included health-related information, financial records, driver's license and Social Security numbers, and other sensitive information belonging to customers and employees at many companies.
In addition to the formal investigations against several companies, the FTC said it had also sent out letters notifying about 100 other companies regarding sensitive and confidential data from their networks being found on publicly available P2P networks.
The notification letters urged the targeted companies to review their security controls and warned them that the data leaks could be putting them in violation of laws enforced by the FTC.
- Franken presses Ford on location data collection practices
- Justices let stand appeals court decision on border searches of laptops
- California lawmakers move to bar state help to NSA
- Appeals court again nixes Google's bid to overturn Street View case
- Older Mac webcams can spy without activating warning light
- Update: Judge rules NSA spy efforts may be unconstitutional
- Perspective: Privacy concerns could keep Amazon delivery drones grounded
- NSA collects data from millions of cellphones daily
- Perspective: Curbing data use is key to reining in NSA
- Lavabit-DOJ dispute zeroes in on encryption key ownership
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- HP HAVEn: See the big picture in Big Data
- HP HAVEn is the industry's first comprehensive, scalable, open, and secure platform for Big Data. Enterprises are drowning in a sea of data...
- What Datapipe customers need to know about the new PCI DSS 3.0 compliance standard
- This handy quick reference outlines what PCI DSS 3.0 is, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the new...
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting
- This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle
- This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle. All Government IT White Papers
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- All Government IT Webcasts