Sallie Mae's Upromise Site to Fix Data Practices: FTC

The Federal Trade Commission has issued its final order settling charges that, a membership reward service for those saving for college, used a Web-browser toolbar to collect consumer data without adequate disclosure.
The settlement order requires Upromise to clearly disclose its data collection practices and obtain consumers’ consent before installing or re-enabling any toolbar products.
Upromise must also explain to consumers how to disable the data collection tool on their computers. Upromise is owned by Sallie Mae, the country’s largest originator of federally insured student loans.
Billed on its website as “Upromise by Sallie Mae,” the service offers members “cash back” when they make eligible purchases from hundreds of online retail partners,  or use their Upromise credit card.
Upromise members have earned more than $670 million in member rewards since 2001.
Rewards accumulate in a member’s Upromise account and can be transferred into an eligible 529 college savings plan, a Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Account, or used to pay down an eligible Sallie Mae-serviced student loan.
The settlement with the FTC also prohibits Upromise from misrepresentations about the extent to which the company maintains the privacy and security of consumers’ personal information.
Upromise must also establish a “comprehensive information security program” and obtain biennial independent security assessments for the next 20 years.

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