Telecommunications Feed

FTC orders Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok, YouTube, and four other companies to turn over information on data collection

The Federal Trade Commission is issuing orders to nine social media and video streaming companies, requiring them to provide data on how they collect and use information from their users, the FTC announced Monday. Read more →


Apple to pay $113 million to settle claims it slowed down older iPhones to extend battery life

Apple will pay $113 million in a settlement which resolves charges that the company misled consumers about iPhone batteries and software updates that throttled processing performance in order to manage low battery power. Read more →


T-Mobile to pay $200 million for Sprint’s Lifeline program misuse

T-Mobile will pay $200 million to resolve an investigation of Sprint’s compliance with the Federal Communications Commission’s rules for the Lifeline program for low-income consumers. The payment is the largest settlement the FCC has ever levied.  Read more →


Trianium cell phone battery pack cases are being recalled by Endliss Technology due to burn hazard

Endliss Technology is recalling about 367,000 Trianium cell phone battery pack cases. The lithium-ion battery in the cases can overheat resulting in thermal runaway, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Endliss has received 96 reports of batteries overheating, including 10 reports of burn injuries. Read more →


Consumer groups ask for review of FCC ruling that would allow millions more text messages and calls to cellphones

Consumer groups filed an appeal on behalf of low-income consumers with the Federal Communications Commission Friday of a ruling by the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau that federal protections against unwanted text messages don’t apply to peer-to-peer text messaging systems, systems where the text message is sent by a person. Read more →


What to buy and not buy in March

March can be a slow shopping month, especially if you compare it to February, with its Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Days sales. However, March isn't totally blank when it comes to sales. Look for sales on television sets, cruises, luggage, winter sports gear, and seasonal fruit, according to DealNews.com. On the what not to buy list are android phones, spring apparel, gym memberships, and lingerie. Read more →


Federal judge approves merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, but states may appeal

A federal judge approved the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint Tuesday, ignoring complaints from 14 government agencies and consumer advocates that the merger will harm competition and result in higher prices. The decision removes the last big stumbling block for the $26 billion merger, proposed more than a year ago. On June 11, 2019, 13 states and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit to stop the deal from going through, saying the merger of two of the four national wireless carriers would harm consumers nationwide by reducing competition in the market and putting access to affordable, reliable wireless service at risk. Read more →


AT&T to pay $60 million to settle FTC charges it ‘throttled’ customers with ‘unlimited’ data plans

AT&T Mobility will pay $60 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit over allegations that the wireless provider misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds. In a lawsuit filed in 2014, the FTC alleged that AT&T failed to tell its unlimited data plan customers that, if they reach a certain amount of data use in a billing cycle, AT&T would reduce – or “throttle” – their data speeds. As a result, many mobile phone applications, such as web browsing and video streaming, became difficult or nearly impossible to use. “AT&T promised unlimited data – without qualification – and failed to deliver on that promise,” said Andrew Smith, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “While it seems obvious, it bears repeating that Internet providers must tell people about any restrictions on the speed or amount of data promised.” Read more →


Developers of ‘stalking’ app settle with FTC

Under a settlement, the Federal Trade Commission has barred the developers of three “stalking” apps from selling apps that monitor consumers’ mobile devices unless they take steps to ensure the apps will only be used for legitimate purposes. The FTC’s settlement with Retina-X Studios is the agency’s first case against “stalking apps” or “stalkerware.” Retina-X developed and sold MobileSpy, PhoneSheriff, and TeenShield. These apps shared detailed information about a person’s smartphone activities – such as call history, text messages, photos, GPS locations, and browser history – without the smartphone owner’s knowledge. They were marketed for monitoring children and employees, but if misused, they let abusers track people’s physical movements and online activities. Read more →