• Netflix CEO: Net Neutrality Rollback Will Hurt Small Companies
    Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said today that a reversal of the net neutrality rules won't hurt the online video distributor because it's "big enough to get the deals we want." But he added that small companies may face problems without the net neutrality rules.
  • Deceased Teen's Parents Can't See Private Facebook Posts, German Court Rules
    A German appellate court ruled Wednesday that parents of a deceased 15-year-old Facebook user aren't entitled to access her account. The parents wanted to review her messages and other data to determine whether their daughter -- who was killed when she was struck by a subway car -- had been bullied. The court ruled that the girl's contract with Facebook required the company to keep the contents of her account private.
  • Amazon Issues Refunds For Kids' In-App Purchases
    Amazon has started issuing refunds to parents whose children rang up in-app charges, the FTC said today. The company is expected to refund more than $70 million to parents.
  • New Plug-In Lets Users Envision Web Without Net Neutrality Rules
    A new plug-in for Google Chrome shows what the Web could look like without net neutrality laws. The 'Removal of Net Neutrality Simulator,' developed by advocacy group Keep Our Net Free, both slows down consumers and redirects them. It "directs users who try to access Reddit and Facebook to Myspace, YouTube to Vimeo, and Google to Bing," Motherboard reports. "When users try to access any of the sites they really wanted to see, they receive a pop-up saying that the 'website does not function correctly on your …
  • BART Hit With Privacy Suit Over Mobile App
    A class-action lawsuit filed Monday alleges that BART has been collecting personal information from people using BART Watch, a mobile app meant to help riders report crimes and get updates about the transit system. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Oakland, alleges the “clandestine collection” of user data, including the “near constant” ability to locate a specific cellular device, by BART and the app’s Boston-based developer Elerts Corp. The lawsuit also says that BART and Elerts went against state privacy laws that require explicit warnings to users that their data may be collected.
  • Google Lets Advertisers Mesh Users' Offline Purchases With Online Viewing Histories
    Google will roll out a new tool enabling advertisers to link people's offline credit card purchases with their online viewing histories. The company says it can access around 70% of credit and debit card transactions in the U.S., thanks to partnerships with outside companies. Data won't include people's names, but that may not be enough to preserve consumers' anonymity. "If anyone’s looking at your digital breadcrumbs, they can be reasonably sure you are you from shockingly little data," Consumerist writes.
  • Senate Staff Can Now Use 'Signal' For Encrypted Messaging
    Senate staff members have been given permission to use the encrypted messaging app Signal. The development could make it harder for lawmakers to require companies to weaken encryption, Techdirt writes.
  • T-Mobile Exec Touts Benefits Of Possible Sprint Merger
    T-Mobile Chief Financial Officer Braxton Carter says a merger with Sprint would enable the combined company to compete more effectively with the two largest carriers -- AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile's other potential merger partners include cable companies like Dish, according to the wireless carrier's Chief Operating Officer, Mike Sievert.
  • Comcast Rolls Out Fiber-To-The-Home
    Comcast has started offering fiber-to-the-home connections in at least one market -- Jacksonville, Florida. The broadband provider hasn't yet increased speeds in that area.  
  • Republican FCC Commissioner Wants To Block State Broadband Privacy Laws
    FCC Commissioner Mike O'Rielly, a Republican, says the agency should stop states from creating their own broadband privacy laws. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai recently expressed a similar idea.
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