[network world] In what appears to be a warning shot, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sent out letters to about 100 companies, informing them about sensitive and confidential data from their networks being found on publicly available on peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.
The letters stem from an FTC investigation during which the agency discovered numerous examples of health-related information, financial records, drivers' license and Social Security numbers and other data leaked on P2P networks, according to a statement released today .
The letters urged the companies to review their security practices and warned them that their failure to prevent such information from being shared on P2P networks may be in violation of laws enforced by the Commission.
"The Commission has brought a number of cases against companies that allegedly failed to implement reasonable and appropriate security measures to protect sensitive personal information," the letter noted. It goes on to remind each of the recipients that it is their responsibility to control the use of P2P software on their networks and on those of their third-party service providers.
In addition to the letters, the FTC has also opened private investigations against an unspecified number of other companies over inadvertent data leaks involving sensitive customer and employee data.
FTC warns nearly 100 firms of P2P data leaks