Google's privacy gaffe with Buzz continues to cast a shadow over the company. Not only has the Buzz rollout resulted in criticism by lawmakers, putative class-action lawsuits, and an FTC complaint by EPIC, but some Congress members say the Buzz debacle is reason enough to question the proposed AdMob acquisition.
One year ago, a federal appeals court ruled that the computer repair shop Rescuecom could proceed with a lawsuit against Google for trademark infringement for allegedly allowing Rescuecom's rivals to use its name to trigger search ads. Rescuecom ultimately withdrew its case, but the appellate ruling still paved the way for a flurry of similar trademark infringement lawsuits against Google, including a potential class-action case. Today, news comes that U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria, Va., has tossed one of those cases, a lawsuit by language learning software company Rosetta Stone.
It's safe to say that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is no privacy advocate. If his public pronouncements about privacy didn't convince people of that, then certainly the company's recent decisions to share users' names, photos, friend lists, etc. with three partners -- Yelp, Pandora and Microsoft Docs -- should. Even Facebook employees perceive their boss as uninterested in privacy. One went so far as to tell New York Times reporter Nick Bilton that Zuckerberg "doesn't believe in" privacy.
Last week, Gawker Media's Gizmodo published photos and other information about the next generation iPhone after purchasing the prototype for $5,000 from someone who says he found it in a bar. The incident took a new twist yesterday, when Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's revealed that the police had come to his house with a search warrant and confiscated four computers and two servers.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has added his voice to the growing roster of people criticizing Facebook for violating users' privacy with its new so-called "instant personalization" feature, which shares users' data with outside sites.
Suing newspaper readers who post excerpts of articles and link back to them seems like a very questionable business decision. Yet that's exactly what's going on in Nevada, where a new company, Righthaven, has recently filed five lawsuits alleging copyright infringement based on lifting portions of articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Retailer Ann Taylor Loft seems to have dodged a Federal Trade Commission action for allegedly providing bloggers with gifts at a January preview of the store's summer line. But other companies might not be as lucky.
In August of 2008, right around the time the Federal Communications Commission voted to sanction Comcast for throttling peer-to-peer traffic, another Internet service provider, RCN, found itself hauled into court on virtually identical allegations.
Privacy regulators from 10 countries complained on Tuesday that Google "betrayed a disappointing disregard for fundamental privacy norms and laws" when it launched Buzz.
In the latest stunt to show that Web users don't read the fine print, the U.K. company Gamestation inserted the following language in its terms of service: "By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul...."