Federal Trade Commission warns of P2P file-sharing risk


MUMBAI: The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) welcomed an announcement by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the security risks of using peer-to-peer (P2P) File-Sharing Networks.


The FTC said it has notified almost 100 organizations that personal information, including sensitive data about customers and/or employees, has been shared from the organizations’ computer networks and is available on P2P networks to any users of those networks, who could use it to commit identity theft or fraud. In addition, the FTC noted that companies that distribute P2P programs have a shared responsibility and should ensure that their software design does not contribute to inadvertent file sharing.


"For the millions of men and women working in film, television, music, software and other creative industries, P2P networks have become a serious threat to their livelihoods by serving as a major platform for illegal trafficking in stolen copyrighted material. Today the FTC is also sending out a strong warning that using P2P networks increases the risk that sensitive personal information will fall into the hands of identity thieves. The dangers are real both for business and home users of P2P networks, and we welcome the FTC’s efforts to spread the word about the risks," said MPAA general counsel & chief content protection officer Daniel Mandil.


FTC chairman Jon Liebowitz said, "Unfortunately, companies and institutions of all sizes are vulnerable to serious P2P-related breaches, placing consumers’ sensitive information at risk. For example, we found health-related information, financial records, and drivers’ license and social security numbers – the kind of information that could lead to identity theft."