FTC: Pursued By Zombies? Read This & December 2016 List Of Banks Examined For CRA Compliance

Federal Trade Commission

Pursued by zombies? Read this.

So you’ve taken every precaution against a zombie attack. You’ve sealed the windows, stockpiled kerosene, and keep a machete or two handy. But despite your best efforts, The Undead still manage to reanimate themselves and stalk their unsuspecting prey. We hate when that happens. But this time it’s not an episode of The Walking Dead. According to an FTC complaint, it’s an analogy to how digital advertising company Turn, Inc.’s “zombie cookie” continued to track consumers, even after people took affirmative steps to protect their privacy.

California-based Turn describes itself as the “largest independent company in the advertising technology sector” with half of the global online advertising inventory flowing through its platform. Turn claims to have “rich profile data on more than 99 percent of North American consumers.” The company uses all that data to help its clients engage in targeted advertising by serving up ads based on an individual user’s interests.

How does Turn help clients know who’s shopping for a luxury car vs. who’s buying baby blankets? They use web beacons (embedded code on webpages that tells the browser to connect to third-party services like Turn) and cookies (unique text files stored on a consumer’s browser). But consumers spend a lot of time on mobile apps that can’t set or access cookies. Turn has that covered, too, by using device advertising identifiers like Apple iOS’s Identifier for Advertisers and Google’s Advertising ID.

Of course, many people take advantage of browser settings that let them delete cookies, limit them, or prevent them from being set altogether. For apps, they can use Apple and Android settings that perform similar functions. That’s how consumers send a loud-and-clear message that they want to restrict how they’re tracked or stop being tracked altogether.

Turn’s privacy policy reassured consumers that their personal choices would be honored. As the policy stated, “Most internet browsers automatically accept cookies. You can instruct your browser, by editing in options, to stop accepting cookies or prompt you before accepting a cookie from the websites you visit.”

According to the complaint, Turn’s privacy policy page also led consumers to believe they could use the company’s opt-out mechanism to block tailored anonymous ads on websites and apps. Although Turn tried to persuade consumers that “opting out may hurt the sites and apps you love,” the company provided a link consumers could use “if you’d like to opt out of tailored advertising from Turn.”

But here’s the thing about zombies. Seal the windows all you want, but there’s no stopping them. In that way, they’re sort of like the methods Turn used to circumvent consumers’ decision not to be tracked.

Beginning in 2013, Turn participated in a Verizon Wireless program that let companies like Turn access certain demographic information about Verizon Wireless users. According to the complaint, Verizon attached unique identifiers – called tracking headers – to all unencrypted mobile internet traffic for more than 100 million consumers on its network. (In case you’re wondering, there was nothing consumers could do prevent the transmission of the header.)

As a result, even if a consumer deleted cookies or reset the device advertising identifier, Turn could still use the unique tracking header assigned to that person’s device to reassociate the consumer with his or her previous history. In fact, Turn recreated cookies that consumers had previously deleted. Put another way, even when people used the tech equivalent of kerosene and machetes, Turn created zombies out of consumers’ deleted cookies.

Count One of the complaint charges that Turn falsely claimed that blocking or limiting cookies would restrict the company’s ability to track consumers. In fact, in many instances, even when Verizon Wireless users blocked or limited cookies, Turn continued to track them through the header.

What about Turn’s opt-out mechanism? According to Count Two, Turn led consumers to believe they could use the link to opt out of Turn’s tailored ads on mobile apps. However, the mechanism applied only to mobile browsers and not to mobile apps. Thus, the FTC says Turn’s claim was false or misleading.

To settle the case, Turn has agreed that it won’t make misrepresentations about the privacy of broad categories of covered information. In addition, the proposed order requires Turn to include a clear and conspicuous “Consumer Opt Out of Targeted Advertising” hyperlink on its homepage. That link must take consumers to a clear explanation of the information Turn collects for targeted ads – and an effective opt-out mechanism. Turn also has to honor any signal it receives indicating that a consumer has used mobile operating signal controls to opt out of targeted advertising or limit it.

You can file an online comment about the proposed settlement by January 19, 2017.

What’s the message for others in the industry?

  • Not to mix our horror metaphors, but when it comes to information practices, companies should take a transparency lesson from H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man. Live up to your express and implied claims about consumer privacy.
  • Furthermore, much has been made of the choices that tech-savvy consumers can make to protect themselves from tracking. But if companies use misleading tactics to circumvent users’ preferences, those otherwise useful tools can be rendered about as effective as a “Keep Out” sign during a zombie apocalypse. It’s in everyone’s interest that consumers’ choices are respected.

FDIC – Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


FDIC Issues List of Banks Examined for CRA Compliance

Atlanta Region
(AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV)
Chicago Region
(IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, WI)
Dallas Region
(AR, CO, LA, MS, NM, OK, TN, TX)
Kansas City Region
New York Region
(CT, DE, DC, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, VI, VT)
San Francisco
(AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY)


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

Atlanta Region: (AL, FL, GA, NC, SC, VA, WV) Back to top

16175 West Alabama Bank & Trust P.O. BOX 310 REFORM AL 35481-0000 O
18149 Harbor Community Bank 200 S. INDIAN RIVER DRIVE, SUITE 101 FORT PIERCE FL 34950 S
58005 Georgia Heritage Bank P. O. BOX 1430 DALLAS GA 30132-0000 S
16825 Sunmark Community Bank P.O. BOX 967 HAWKINSVILLE GA 31036-0967 S
57882 Legacy State Bank 3825 HARRISON ROAD LOGANVILLE GA 30052-0000 S
16584 Carver State Bank P.O. BOX 2769 SAVANNAH GA 31402-0000 O
8672 The Blue Grass Valley Bank P.O. BOX 6 BLUE GRASS VA 24413-0000 S


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

Chicago Region: (IL, IN, KY, MI, OH, WI) Back to top

28841 Community Savings Bank 4801 WEST BELMONT STREET CHICAGO IL 60641-0000 O
29056 First Federal Savings Bank P O BOX 1111 EVANSVILLE IN 47706-1111 S
2721 The First Commonwealth Bank of Prestonsburg, Inc. 311 NORTH ARNOLD AVENUE PRESTONSBURG KY 41653-0000 S
15064 Exchange State Bank P.O. BOX 68 CARSONVILLE MI 48419-0000 S
5019 Southern Michigan Bank & Trust P.O. BOX 309 COLDWATER MI 49036-0000 S
35385 Premier Bank & Trust 600 SOUTH MAIN STREET NORTH CANTON OH 44720-0000 S
34977 The Arlington Bank 2130 TREMONT CENTER UPPER ARLINGTON OH 43221-0000 S


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

Dallas Region: (AR, CO, LA, MS, NM, OK, TN, TX) Back to top

34784 Commercial Capital Bank 311 BROADWAY DELHI LA 71232-0000 S
29829 MBL Bank P O BOX 797 MINDEN LA 71055-0000 S
12441 Whitney Bank P.O. BOX 4019 GULFPORT MS 39502-0000 S
9188 Farmers & Merchants Bank P.O. BOX 408 ADAMSVILLE TN 38310-0000 S
31146 Security Federal Savings Bank of McMinnville P.O. BOX 7027 MCMINNVILLE TN 37110-7027 O
10719 Peoples State Bank of Hallettsville P.O. BOX 347 HALLETTSVILLE TX 77964-0000 S
17842 Texas Bank and Trust Company P.O. BOX 3188 LONGVIEW TX 75606-0000 S
12299 SouthStar Bank, S.S.B. P.O. BOX A MOULTON TX 77975-0000 S


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

Kansas City Region: (IA, KS, MN, MO, ND, NE, SD) Back to top

15947 Iowa State Bank P.O. BOX 99 CLARKSVILLE IA 50619-0000 NI
19716 First Central State Bank P.O. BOX 200 DE WITT IA 52742-0000 S
14812 Treynor State Bank P.O. BOX A TREYNOR IA 51575-0000 S
8863 Woodland Bank 217 MAIN AVENUE EAST DEER RIVER MN 56636-0000 S
1390 Lake Area Bank P.O. BOX 743 LINDSTROM MN 55045-0000 S
1901 Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Sacred Heart P.O. BOX 397 SACRED HEART MN 56285-0000 S


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

New York Region: (CT, DE, DC, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, PR, RI, VI, VT)  Back to top

18237 Jewett City Savings Bank P.O. BOX 335 JEWETT CITY CT 06351-0000 S
23622 Bristol County Savings Bank 35 BROADWAY TAUNTON MA 02780-0000 S
90291 The Savings Bank 357 MAIN STREET WAKEFIELD MA 01880-0000 S
19690 Northeast Bank 500 CANAL STREET LEWISTON ME 04240-0000 S
17960 Merrimack County Savings Bank P. O. BOX 2826 CONCORD NH 03302-2826 S
17180 Meredith Village Savings Bank P.O. BOX 177 MEREDITH NH 03253-0000 S
57919 ConnectOne Bank 301 SYLVAN AVENUE ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS NJ 07632-0000 S
58654 Gold Coast Bank 2929 EXPRESSWAY DRIVE NORTH ISLANDIA NY 11749-0000 S
7614 The Juniata Valley Bank P.O. BOX 66 MIFFLINTOWN PA 17059-0000 S


Cert # Bank Name Street Address City ST Zip Rating

San Francisco: (AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MT, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) Back to top

57904 California United Bank 15821 VENTURA BOULEVARD, SUITE 100 ENCINO CA 91436-0000 O
24332 First Credit Bank 9255 SUNSET BOULEVARD LOS ANGELES CA 90069-0000 S
22366 GBC International Bank 5670 WILSHIRE BOULEVARD, SUITE 1780 LOS ANGELES CA 90036-5605 S
58490 Beneficial State Bank 1438 WEBSTER STREET, SUITE 100 OAKLAND CA 94612-3206 S
23242 California Pacific Bank 100 MONTGOMERY STREET, SUITE 2250 SAN FRANCISCO CA 94104-0000 S
58159 Community Business Bank 1550 HARBOR BOULEVARD, SUITE #200 WEST SACRAMENTO CA 95691-1621 S
35103 Idaho Trust Bank 888 WEST BROAD STREET BOISE ID 83702-7140 S
57293 EnerBank USA 1245 E. BRICKYARD ROAD, SUITE 600 SALT LAKE CITY UT 84106-0000 O
57862 Thurston First Bank PO BOX 7877 OLYMPIA WA 98507-7877 S


Ratings Definitions: O is Outstanding; S is Satisfactory; NI is Needs to Improve; and SN is Substantial Non-compliance

Mike Dodd

I have a wide range of views and opinions. I have worked in a number of industries some of them are: Banking, Dairy, Health Insurance, Education and Government. I am the owner and editor in charge of a number of websites and message boards. The crown jewel of the websites is which covers a wide variety of content. The Wave Chronicle is a site built to put forth thought provoking information, which can range from activism, politics, technology, philosophy, climate change, education, futurist / transhumanist theory and some fun articles that tend to be on the conspiracy theory side. Finally, I am also an accomplished no limit holdem poker player who sadly does not see enough time at a poker table.

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