• NY Governor Signs Law Restricting Ads On Airbnb
    New York Gov. Mario Cuomo Friday signed a bill that prohibits people from posting ads for illegal apartment rentals on Airbnb. The measure aims to enforce a 2010 law that generally made it illegal to rent apartments in New York City for fewer than 30 days. The law signed on Friday imposes fines of up to $7,500 on people who advertise illegal rentals. Airbnb has already said it will sue to block the law.
  • Google Can Now Create 'Complete Portrait Of A User By Name'
    This summer, Google revised its privacy policy to state that people's browsing activity "may be" combined with data from Gmail and other functions. The revised policy applies to new account holders by default, but only applies to existing users if they opt in. ProPublica looks at the implication of the move, writing that it could enable Google to "build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct."
  • Former FCC Commissioner Backs Strong Privacy Rules
    Former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps is urging the agency to pass privacy rules that would require ISPs to obtain consumers' opt-in consent to draw on a broad array of data. "Consumers are better protected under an opt-in regime, which can be thought of as a default response of 'no' to questions about privacy-invasive practices," he writes. "Opt-out is contrary to Congress’s mandate that the FCC protect the 'confidentiality' of consumers’ private data; instead, it requires consumers to protect themselves."
  • Yahoo Urges Feds To Disclose Whether They Ordered Email Scans
    Yahoo's top lawyer is asking the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to “provide clarity” about whether the government ordered the company to spy on users. Yahoo's move comes in response to a Reuters report that the company scanned Yahoo Mail accounts at the government's request.  
  • Skittles Photographer Sues Trump
    Photographer David Kittos has sued presidential candidate Donald Trump, his son, vice-presidential candidate Michael Pence and others over an ad posted to Twitter. The ad allegedly included Kittos's copyrighted photograph of a bowl of Skittles. The caption compared refugees from Syria to candy. "If I had a bowl of skittles and told you just three would kill you. Would you take a handful? That's our Syrian refugee problem," the caption reads. Twitter removed the Skittles photo, but not the caption, last month after Kittos alleged in a takedown notice that the campaign's use of the photo infringed his copyright. …
  • Apple Sues Over Counterfeit iPhone Chargers
    Apple has sued Mobile Star for allegedly infringing on Apple's trademarks by selling counterfeit iPhone chargers and adapters on Amazon. Apple says that almost 90% of iPhone accessories available through Amazon are counterfeit.  
  • Tech Giants Spending Fortune On Washington Lobbyists
    Last year, top tech firms spent $49 million on Washington lobbyists, Bloomberg reports, citing new data from the Center for Responsive Politics. By contrast, the five largest banks spend $19.7 million. As Bloomberg notes, however, it’s only a matter of time before the tech sector’s increasingly cozy relationship with Washington comes under increasing scrutiny. 
  • Verizon Wireless Scratches Nonprofit's Questionable $20,000 Bill
    Facing complaints about inaccurate bills, Verizon Wireless is reducing -- and in some case canceling -- bills for data overages. In one case Verizon scratched a nonprofit's questionable $20,300 bill. Verizon previously told the nonprofit that one of its phones consumed 1.3 TB of data in just 10 days.  
  • Peter Thiel Donates $1.25 Milion To Trump Campaign
    Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who funded Hulk Hogan's successful invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker, has donated $1.25 million to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The donation is alienating some at Y Combinator, where Thiel serves as an adviser.
  • Republican Fundraising Site Hacked
    A Web site used by the National Republican Senatorial Committee to collect donations for Republican senators was compromised by malware that collected donors' names, addresses, and credit card data. The reportedly contained skimming software from March 16 until several weeks ago.
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