Feeds

eBay dumps ValueClick

ValueClick pays FTC $2.9m over misleading ads

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

eBay is dropping ValueClick's Commission Junction as the manager of the affiliate programs for eBay's auctions and Half.com sites. Monday's announcement came as the Federal Trade Commission announced ValueClick would pay a record $2.9m to settle charges it engaged deceptive advertising and failed to secure sensitive customer data.

About 100,000 eBay and Half.com affiliates will be required to migrate away from ValueClick's Commission Junction by May 1. ValueClick has managed the affiliate programs since 2001. For now, eBay will continue to use Commission Junction to manage programs for properties including StubHub, ProStores, eBay Stores and Tradera AB, but it left the door open to drop ValueClick on those sites as well.

Starting next month, eBay will launch an in-house program dubbed the eBay Partner Network. The online auction house made no reference to the FTC action in a press release announcing the change. Instead, it said the new program would "allow eBay to more closely align the program with the needs of of its publishers and the eBay community, and will eventually engage all of eBay's assets to create one of the most robust affiliate networks in existence."

In agreeing to pay the $2.9m, ValueClick admitted no wrongdoing. The payout, the largest settlement ever in a case based on the 2003 anti-junk mail law known as the CAN-SPAM Act, follows allegations that ValueClick's Hi-Speed Media subsidiary used deceptive emails, banner ads and pop-up windows to drive traffic to its websites. The ads claimed that end users were eligible for free gifts such as laptops and iPods when in fact the items were only available to people who accepted a host of expensive offers from third-party partners.

The federal watchdog agency also alleged that ValueClick falsely claimed it safeguarded customers' sensitive financial records using industry-standard encryption. In fact, the FTC alleged, ValueClick either failed to encrypt the data at all or used insecure forms of the technology. Additionally, the FTC said several ValueClick websites were vulnerable to SQL injection attacks, which cause the sites to turn on their visitors by installing malware of vulnerable end-user machines.

ValueClick is required to conspicuously disclose that consumers are required to incur financial or other obligations to qualify for merchandise. The company is also required to establish a comprehensive security program for securing sensitive customer information. The program will have to be monitored by a third-party assessor for 20 years. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.