Twitter settles with FTC over hacking breach

Friday, June 25, 2010; A11


Twitter settles with FTC over hacking breach

Twitter has settled charges brought by the Federal Trade Commission that it deceived consumers by allowing hackers to obtain administrative control over the popular social-networking service because of loose security.

The FTC said Thursday that Twitter allowed hackers in 2009 to view private "tweets" -- micro-blogs of up to 140 characters -- and to send phony messages purportedly from the accounts of then-President-elect Obama and Fox News, among others.

Under the settlement, Twitter will set up a security program to be assessed by a third party and will be prohibited from "misleading consumers about the extent to which it . . . protects . . . nonpublic consumer information," the FTC said. No damages were sought.

In a statement, Twitter general counsel Alexander Macgillivray said that relatively few users were affected by the breach and that the incidents occurred when the company had 50 employees and was grappling with explosive growth. The company said that it has since worked on security measures and that no other complaints have been brought regarding privacy or security lapses.

-- Cecilia Kang


Durable goods orders picked up in May

Businesses spent more on big-ticket goods in May and the pace of layoffs slowed in the past week, the latest evidence that the economy is gradually improving.

Overall, factory orders for durable goods fell 1.1 percent last month, the Commerce Department said Thursday. But that was largely the result of a drop in demand for commercial aircraft. Excluding the volatile transportation sector, orders rose 0.9 percent after falling in April. Contributing to the strength was a 2.1 percent increase in business spending.

Meanwhile, the number of people filing first-time claims for jobless benefits fell last week by 19,000, the largest drop in two months. New claims declined to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, the Labor Department said. That's about the same level as at the beginning of the year. The four-week average dipped to 462,750, the first drop in six weeks.

-- Associated Press


More than 2 million drop-side cribs recalled

Seven companies are recalling more than 2 million cribs out of concern that they pose lethal dangers to infants, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

Most of the affected cribs have one side that lowers to allow caregivers easy access to a baby or toddler. Drop-side cribs have caused at least 32 deaths in the United States since 2000, and the CPSC is crafting new federal standards to ban them from the marketplace by year's end. Federal officials do not know how many drop-side cribs are in use.

Many deaths associated with drop-side cribs have occurred when the movable side partly detached, trapping the infant between the mattress and wood slats of the crib. In some cases, caregivers unwittingly installed the drop side incorrectly. In other cases, the crib hardware apparently failed, and the side detached.

The companies involved in the recall are Evenflo, Delta Enterprises, Jardine Enterprises, LaJobi, Million Dollar Baby, Simmons Juvenile Products and Child Craft. The cribs were manufactured between 2000 and 2009. No deaths have been linked to the cribs involved, but the CPSC said at least 16 infants were entrapped by malfunctioning movable sides in the cribs.

The manufacturers are offering free kits to crib owners that will prevent the drop sides on the affected cribs from detaching. More information is available at

To date, more than 9 million drop-side cribs have been recalled by manufacturers because of suffocation and strangulation hazards since 2005.

-- Lyndsey Layton

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