In re Vision I Properties, LLC, FTC Docket No. C-4125 (2005) (consent order) | mrisch | July 28, 2014

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In re Vision I Properties, LLC, FTC Docket No. C-4125 (2005) (consent order)

by mrisch
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042 3068

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UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

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FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

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COMMISSIONERS: Deborah Platt Majoras, Chairman

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Orson Swindle

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Thomas B. Leary

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Pamela Jones Harbour

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Jon Leibowitz

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)

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In the Matter of )

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)

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VISION I PROPERTIES, LLC, )

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d/b/a CARTMANAGER )

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INTERNATIONAL, )

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a corporation. ) DOCKET NO. C-4135

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)

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 )

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COMPLAINT

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The Federal Trade Commission, having reason to believe that Vision I Properties, LLC,

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doing business as CartManager International, a corporation (“Vision One” or “Respondent”) has

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violated the provisions of the Federal Trade Commission Act, and it appearing to the

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Commission that this proceeding is in the public interest, alleges:

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1. Respondent Vision One is a Utah corporation with its principal office or place of

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business at 2250 N. University Parkway, Suite 4880, Provo, UT 84604. 

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2. The acts and practices of Respondent as alleged in this complaint have been in or

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affecting commerce, as “commerce” is defined in Section 4 of the Federal Trade

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Commission Act.

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3. Respondent licenses shopping cart software and provides related services to thousands of

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small online retail merchants through its Web site, www.cartmanager.com. The shopping

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cart software generates customizable “shopping cart” and “check out” Web pages for use

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on the merchants’ Web sites. These pages reside on Respondent’s Web site but are

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designed to look like the other pages on the merchant’s site and typically display the

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merchant’s name and logo.Page 2 of 3

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4. When a consumer seeks to make a purchase from a merchant Web site that uses

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Respondent’s software, the software generates shopping cart and check out pages, which

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collect information provided by the consumer. Such information includes the consumer’s

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name, billing and shipping addresses, phone number, email address, credit card

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information, and the item and quantity of merchandise selected by the consumer. The

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software then transmits the customer information to Respondent and notifies the

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merchant so that the merchant can fulfill the customer’s order. 

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5. Some of the merchants using Respondent’s shopping cart software have disseminated or

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caused to be disseminated various privacy policies on their Web sites. These privacy

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policies contain statements regarding the use and disclosure of personal information

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collected through their Web sites. A few examples of these statements are as follows: 

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A. “[ ] is committed to protecting customer privacy. We use the information we

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collect from you to process orders and to provide an enhanced shopping

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experience. [ ] does not sell, trade or rent personal information or shopping habits

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to third parties. Customer account and transaction information, as well as

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correspondence, is handled with the utmost discretion.”

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B. “PRIVACY POLICY: It’s simple. We don’t sell, trade, or lend any information

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on our customers or visitors to anyone.” 

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C. “[ ] Pledges and solidly guarantees that all personal information, from any source,

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that is submitted, gathered, tracked or otherwise obtained or retained in the

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normal course of online business activity associated with the company’s Web

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site/s, is secure and held confidential at all times from sale, disclosure, rental, and

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tampering by any known third party. . . .”

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D. “[ ] is committed to protecting your privacy. . . . We never sell any information to

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outside parties. We protect your information from unauthorized access. 

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Information you give us is used only to the extent needed to conduct our business

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and to meet the highest quality service standards for processing, verifying and

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filling your orders.”

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6. In January 2003, Respondent began renting to third parties for marketing purposes

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consumers’ personal information collected through shopping cart and check out pages

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generated by its software at merchant sites. Such personal information includes the

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name, address, phone number, and purchase history of nearly one million consumers. 

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This personal information was used by third parties to send direct mail and make

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telemarketing calls to consumers who shopped at merchant sites using the software.Page 3 of 3

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7. Although the shopping cart and check out pages generated by Respondent’s software

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appear to be part of the merchants’ sites, the pages do not disclose to consumers that the

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information entered on them is not subject to the merchant privacy policies or that it will

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be shared with third parties for marketing purposes. Further, because the shopping cart

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and check out pages are typically the only pages on the merchants’ sites that collect

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personal information, consumers reasonably expect that the merchants’ privacy policies

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cover information consumers provide on those pages. 

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8. Respondent also does not adequately inform merchants – in promoting its shopping cart

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software or at a later time – that it intends to use information collected from merchants’

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customers in a manner that may be inconsistent with the merchants’ privacy policies or

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that it intends to share the information with third parties for marketing purposes. 

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Although Respondent’s online license agreement asserts that "CartManager shall retain

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full ownership of all data submitted by either Merchant or Purchaser through the

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CartManager Shopping Cart . . . including, but not limited to name, mailing & shipping

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address, email address, phone number, dollar amount of purchase, type of purchase and

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description of purchase," this statement is buried in the middle of the online agreement

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and does not explain how Respondent intends to use the information or that such use may

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conflict with the merchants’ privacy policies. 

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9. Through shopping cart software used at merchant Web sites, Respondent has collected

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personal information from consumers and shared it with third parties knowing that such

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practices were contrary to merchant privacy policies. Respondent’s practices have

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caused consumers substantial injury that is not offset by countervailing benefits to

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consumers or competition. Further, because Respondent’s practices were not adequately

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disclosed to merchants or consumers, the injury was not reasonably avoidable. 

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10. The acts and practices of Respondent as alleged in this complaint constitute unfair acts or

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practices in or affecting commerce in violation of Section 5(a) of the Federal Trade

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Commission Act, 15 U.S.C § 45(a).

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THEREFORE, the Federal Trade Commission this nineteenth day of April, 2005, has

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issued this complaint against Respondent.

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By the Commission.

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Donald S. Clark

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Secretary

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Annotated Text Information

August 19, 2014

In re Vision I Properties, LLC, FTC Docket No. C-4125 (2005) (consent order)

In re Vision I Properties, LLC, FTC Docket No. C-4125 (2005) (consent order)

Author Stats

mrisch

Professor of Law

Villanova University School of Law

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