FTC Brings Hammer Down On LifeLock

Remember those ads where the CEO of a company called LifeLock displayed his social security number to demonstrate how the company could prevent your identity from being stolen? Did that sound too good to be true? Apparently, it was. The FTC recently announced that LifeLock will pay $12 million to settle charge by the FTC and 35 states that LifeLock wasn’t all that (sorry for the technical legal term there). According to the FTC, LifeLock’s claims had two major problems. First, the FTC charges that LifeLock didn’t protect against the most prevalent form of identity theft – misuse of existing accounts. LifeLock’s system focused on fraud involving new accounts, but that comprises only about 17 percent of identity theft. Second, and maybe even worse (and for sure more ironic) the FTC claims that LifeLock didn’t adequately protect personal information it collected from its own customers! According to the FTC “the company’s data system was vulnerable and could have been exploited by those seeking access to customer information.” I love the old cliché – “if you can do it, you ain’t bragging.” By this standard, LifeLock evidently was bragging.