Social Networking Site Settles With State Over Deceptive Practices
by: David Pitman, November 9, 2009 9:11:30 pm
The site "Tagged" may not be as well-known as Facebook or MySpace, but it claims to have 80 million members. The site says about 2 million of them are here in Texas.
The Attorney General's office began investigating Tagged, after the site launched a promotion back in June to get more people to sign up.
AG spokesperson Lauri Saathoff says Tagged sent messages to everyone on a member's e-mail address list, claiming the member had photos for everyone to see.
"But most of the time, the member had no photos to share. And consumers clickin' on this e-mail were taken through Tagged's registration process themselves, which, inadvertently, gave Tagged access to the members' e-mail address books."
Saathoff says under the terms of the settlement with the AG's office, Tagged must clearly spell out its intentions to have access to a member's e-mail address list, and to give members a chance to say no.
"Tagged must also designate a compliance representative and adopt a formal retention policy, and allow users to set their accounts to a private setting to block unauthorized access to their information."
Tagged will also have to pay a total of $250,000 to cover both the civil penalties, and the cost of the state's investigation.