LifeLock Fined by the FTC for Shady Claims but Still "Best Overall" in Industry
Does this mean Todd Davis could have driven the truck with his Social Security number through the holes in LifeLock's supposed protection?
Federal regulators said Tuesday that LifeLock has agreed to pay $12 million to settle charges the company made deceptive claims about its ability to protect customers from identity theft.
LifeLock will pay $11 million to the Federal Trade Commission and $1 million to a group of 35 state attorneys general in one of the largest joint FTC-state settlements on record, the agency said.
"While LifeLock promised consumers complete protection against all types of identity theft, in truth, the protection it actually provided left enough holes that you could drive a truck through it," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz in a statement.
LifeLock charges $10 a month for services it says will help keep users safe from identity theft. Since 2006, the company has marketed its services by displaying the the Social Security number of chief executive, Todd Davis, on the side of a truck.
Davis, who was named in the FTC's complaint, said in a statement that he is pleased with the settlement, adding that the agreement will help "set advertising standards for the entire identity theft protection industry."
In a case of perfect timing (erm, one may reasonably assume this is no coincidence), LifeLock shot out a hot press release bragging that it was rated "Best Overall" among identity theft protection services. And I'm sure there are tons of them to compare to.
With an estimated 11.1 million Americans victimized by identity fraud in 2009 ("2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report," Javelin Strategy & Research), the identity theft protection industry is increasing in protection options to best help consumers guard against this crime. Identity Theft Labs, an industry-leading blog which compares various identity theft protection services, has ranked LifeLock as the "Best Overall" service and provided an overall rating for LifeLock as "Excellent."
"As the crimes of identity theft and identity fraud continue to evolve, we have positioned our business to grow at a more rapid pace in attempt to stay in front of the crime," said LifeLock Chairman and CEO Todd Davis. "With our next generation LifeLock Identity Alert(TM) system and our advanced LifeLock Command Center(TM) protection suite, we are using technologies that allow us to search broader, deeper and for more data than ever before."
Identity Theft Labs - the website that gave LifeLock such high marks - claims to be "unbiased" but unfortunately no Whois registry information is available to track down these unbiased site owners and the site even contains a disclaimer that they are making an affiliate fee for "promoting" identity theft protection services like LifeLock.
Suspect? Nah, it's only one of the biggest FTC settlements in history, why would LifeLock be engaged in shady behavior so soon after getting their asses handed to them for deceptive claims?
I'll be keeping my Social Security number under my mattress with stacks of $100s, tyvm.