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Bonzi Software, Inc., et al.; Analysis to Aid Public Comment

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission.

ACTION:

Proposed consent agreement.

SUMMARY:

The consent agreement in this matter settles alleged violations of federal law prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices or unfair methods of competition. The attached Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes both the allegations in the draft complaint that accompanies the consent agreement and the terms of the consent order—embodied in the consent agreement—that would settle these allegations.

DATES:

Comments must be received on or before October 1, 2004.

ADDRESSES:

Comments should refer to “Bonzi Software, Inc., et al., File No. 042 3016,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material must be filed in paper form, as explained in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments filed in electronic form (except comments containing any confidential material) should be sent to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas Pahl or Laura Sullivan, FTC, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2128 or 326-3327.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Pursuant to Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 38 Stat. 721, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and Section 2.34 of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 2.34, notice is hereby given that the above-captioned consent agreement containing a consent order to cease and desist, having been filed with and accepted, subject to final approval, by the Commission, has been placed on the public record for a period of thirty (30) days. The following Analysis to Aid Public Comment describes the terms of the consent agreement, and the allegations in the complaint. An electronic copy of the full text of the consent agreement package can be obtained from the FTC Home Page (for September 1, 2004), on the World Wide Web, at http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​2004/​09/​index.htm. A paper copy can be obtained from the FTC Public Reference Room, Room 130-H, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580, either in person or by calling (202) 326-2222.

Public comments are invited and may be filed with the Commission in either paper or electronic form. Written comments must be submitted on or before October 1, 2004. Comments should refer to “Bonzi Software, Inc., et al., File No. 042 3016,” to facilitate the organization of comments. A comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission/Office of the Secretary, Room H-159, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20580. If the comment contains any material for which confidential treatment is requested, it must be filed in paper (rather than electronic) form, and the first page of the document must be clearly labeled “Confidential.” [1] The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments filed in electronic form should be sent to the following e-mail box: consentagreement@ftc.gov.

The FTC Act and other laws the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments, whether filed in paper or electronic form, will be considered by the Commission, and will be available to the public on the FTC Web site, to the extent practicable, at http://www.ftc.gov. As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC Web site. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC's privacy policy, at http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.htm.

Analysis of Proposed Consent Order To Aid Public Comment

The Federal Trade Commission has accepted, subject to final approval, an agreement containing a consent order from Bonzi Software, Inc., Joe Bonzi, and Jay Bonzi (“respondents”).

The proposed consent order has been placed on the public record for thirty (30) days for receipt of comments by interested persons. Comments received during this period will become part of the public record. After thirty (30) days, the Commission will again review the agreement and the comments received, and will decide whether it should withdraw from the agreement or make final the agreement's proposed order.

This matter involves the advertising and promotion of Bonzi InternetALERT software. According to the FTC complaint, the respondents represented that Internet ALERT significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access into computers and the data stored in them. The FTC alleges that in fact InternetALERT does not significantly reduce this risk. Start Printed Page 54668

The proposed consent order contains provisions designed to prevent the respondents from engaging in similar acts and practices in the future.

Part I.A. of the order prohibits the respondents from misrepresenting the extent to which InternetALERT or any other software product or service that is marketed as enhancing security will reduce the risk of unauthorized access into a computer. Part I.B. also prohibits the respondents from misrepresenting the extent which any such product or service will maintain, protect, or provide security features that will enhance the security or privacy of any computer, or any data that is stored in a computer, including personally identifiable information.

Part II prohibits the respondents from making any misrepresentations concerning the performance, benefits, or efficacy of any computer software product or service that is marketed as enhancing security or privacy.

Part III of the order requires respondents to pay refunds to current InternetALERT subscribers who opt to cancel their subscriptions. Subscribers who cancel their subscriptions will receive from the respondents a refund that represents the unused portion of their InternetALERT subscription.

Part IV of the proposed order would require respondents to notify their retailers, affiliates, and similar third parties that advertise, promote, or sell InternetALERT to discontinue making any of the claims prohibited by the order.

Parts V though IX of the order require respondents to keep copies of relevant advertisements and materials substantiating the claims made in the advertisements; to provide copies of the order to certain of their current and future personnel; to notify the Commission of changes in corporate structure; and to file compliance reports with the Commission. Part X provides that the order will terminate after twenty (20) years under certain circumstances.

The purpose of this analysis is to facilitate public comment on the proposed order, and it is not intended to constitute an official interpretation of the agreement and proposed order or to modify in any way their terms.

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By direction of the Commission.

Donald S. Clark,

Secretary.

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Footnotes

1.  Commission Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission's General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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[FR Doc. 04-20405 Filed 9-8-04; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-P