Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had reached a settlement
with ad network Chitika over behavioral targeting opt-outs that expired after just 10 days. And this week, the FTC unveiled a tentative settlement with Google for violating users' privacy with the launch of Buzz, a service that transformed people's Gmail contacts into social networking friends -- and in the process revealed the identities of some users' email contacts.
For more than 10 years, online ad companies have said that users should be notified about behavioral targeting and allowed to opt out. More recently, industry groups have said that companies engaged in online tracking should give clear notice via an icon that links to explanations about behavioral targeting -- or serving ads to users based on the other sites they've visited -- and lets consumers eschew targeting. But carrying out that policy is proving extremely complex, as a new study released today by Carnegie Mellon shows.
Lest there was any doubt that copyright enforcement company Righthaven is a little too quick on the trigger, consider the saga of its lawsuit against Ars Technica freelancer Eriq Gardner.
The Federal Trade Commission seems to have stepped up its privacy enforcement efforts lately, but hasn't yet taken action regarding mobile privacy. But that could potentially change.
Just 9% of Web users downloaded music over peer-to-peer networks last quarter, down from 16% in the fourth quarter of 2007, market research company NPD Group says in a new report. The NPD Group attributes the drop to an injunction issued last October requiring Limewire to disable its file-sharing software. U.S. District Court Judge Kimba Wood ordered the shutdown several months after ruling that the site infringed record labels' copyright by inducing users to download pirated music
When AT&T made the stunning announcement on Sunday that it planned to take over T-Mobile for $39 billion, consumer groups quickly made it clear they didn't approve. <"There is nothing about having less competition that will benefit wireless consumers," Free Press research director S. Derek Turner said. Now some officials are proposing merger conditions that could alleviate some of the concerns.
A federal judge today nixed the deal between Google and book publishers and authors that would have allowed Google to create an online books registry.
Google has just received mixed news about Street View from European authorities. A court in Germany reportedly declared that Google's Street View program is legal, despite the EU's relatively strong privacy laws.
Touting the deal as a boon for broadband, the Federal Communications Commission today conditionally approved the merger of Qwest Communications and CenturyLink.