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6:47 AM
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Who’s Watching You While You are
Watching TV

As connected TVs, smart thermostats and smartphone-controlled door locks proliferate in American homes so do concerns about exactly how secure and private those connections are.

According to a post on Mediapost’s Internet Of Things Daily Connected Thinking a new study shows that nearly 60 percent of consumers said they were very or highly concerned about being hacked or suffering a data breach through their connected devices. 

These concerned cover a range of issues. Sixty-eight percent expressed concern over security issues like viruses, malware, and being hacked, Sixty-five percent expressed fear that devise manufacturers could collect their data via the connection. Fifty-one percent were afraid of privacy breaches.

More than a third of those surveyed had already experienced a security or privacy incident. Nearly a quarter of the survey respondents possessed advanced technical skills, and still were not confident that they could secure their connected devices.

More than a third of the respondents said they didn’t know how to change their password on their home router. More than 60 percent said they couldn’t configure their routers to keep their home networks safe.

The Federal Trade Commission on March 31 announced a series of three seminars this fall on consumer privacy and protection. Each seminar will focus on a different technology threat. On December 7 the FTC will take a hard look at Smart TVs.   

The Commission reminds us that now “virtually all television delivery systems - smart TVs, streaming devices, game consoles, apps, and even old-fashioned set-top boxes-track your viewing habits. Manufacturers of TVs and streaming devices, the advertising industry, and others collaborate to learn was you are watching. “

The FTC will explore tracking technology as well as your understanding about how you are being watched while you are watching TV.

Smart TV manufacturer Vizio is currently facing a federal lawsuit for allegedly sharing information about people’s viewing histories, according to the daily Examiner.
7:17 AM
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Has Oberthur Technologies cracked the code on combatting online credit card fraud?

Oberthur, a global provider of payment card security products, says that 80 percent of respondents in a survey covering online fraud expressed a preference for a card which could provide dynamic card security, over a card with a printed, static 3-digit Card-Verification Value.

The printed, static 3-digit CVV is the current credit-card industry standard.

The Oberthur dynamic-security solution, dubbed Motion Code, would replace the static, printed CVV with a dynamic CVV that is generated algorithmly and is automatically refreshed every hour.  The dynamic CVV is displayed on a mini-screen.  After the hour in which the dynamic CVV is generated the number is no longer operative making the data worthless to identity thieves.

The dynamic card verification process does not add any steps to the online purchase, says Oberthur. But the company is silent on whether the new technology will add time to the purchase transaction. A slower transaction may slow adoption. Also, it would be interesting to know how the mini-screen concept will work.

“Online fraud is now 65 percent of total card fraud. That’s why Oberthur developed its dynamic card-verification technology” says Martin Ferenczi, President of North America at Oberthur Technologies.

According to Oberthur, survey respondents overwhelmingly described the Oberthur card-security solution as “an efficient answer to online fraud,” or “easy to use” or “innovative.”

The survey covered 231 respondents, and was conducted online. Sixty percent of respondents were women and 40 percent were men. Five age brackets (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54 and 55-plus) were equally represented, according to the company.

Oberthur Technologies is present in the global payment, telecommunications and identity-security markets. Its international network serves clients in 140 countries. There is no question that online fraud is a serious problem for consumers, as well as their financial institutions and the merchants from whom they buy. Nor is the fact that Oberthur has the resources, bandwidth and experience to develop products that help reduce “card not present” fraud in question. The question is whether Oberthur’s  Motion Code ™ dynamic card verification product  can succeed  in this mission where many others have failed.
4:43 AM
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Are Holders of Unused Gift Cards Left Holding the Bag When The Retailed That Issued Those Cards Declares Bankruptcy?
When a retailer goes out of business, are consumers who are holding outstanding gift cards issued by that retailer just another class of creditor? Does the retailer’s bankruptcy mean you have to stand in line in Bankruptcy Court behind the retailer’s suppliers and bankers in order to redeem your birthday present from Aunt Mildred?

New research by Mercator Advisory Group examines this issue by reviewing four cases of retailer bankruptcy. In a report called Retailer Bankruptcies: Are Gift Card Holders Just Another Class of Creditors.

This is an important piece of work, given the prominence of these cards in the payments ecosphere and their relatively low rate of redemption. There are a lot of unused gift cards lying around in places like my desk drawer.

According to Mercator, the Report covers cases with differing results for gift cardholders. It examines inconsistencies in bankruptcy court rulings as well as reasons why honoring gift cards in a liquidation is good business practice.

“Gift card issuers should consider the value of their gift cart programs in the best and worst case scenarios and plan ahead to maximize that value for their card holders and their companies “ says Ben Jackson, director of Mercator Advisory Group’s Prepaid Advisory Service.

For more information on Mercator Advisory Group or their research into gift card liabilities visit them at, or follow them on Twitter @MercatorAdvisor.

Mercator Advisory Group is an independent research and advisory firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries.