The company BlueCava boasted this week that its technology, which relies on device fingerprinting, offers Web companies a way to track people while still complying with Europe's broad privacy laws. BlueCava says that the newest version of its device-fingerprinting technology doesn't require installing cookies on users' computers. Instead, the company recognizes the unique characteristics of users' computers and then compiles information about those people's Web-surfing activity.
The federal government's recent indictment of Megaupload executives for copyright infringement has left millions of people who stored photos or documents on the service in limbo.
Facebook and Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna filed separate lawsuits this week against the performance-based marketing network AdScend Media, which allegedly engaged in a clickjacking scheme on the social network.
In a landmark decision addressing privacy in the digital era, the Supreme Court said this week that the police violated a suspect's rights by installing a GPS device on his car without a warrant. While the case dealt with whether the government can track people suspected of crimes, the judges' reasoning could influence judges in a broad swath of privacy disputes that don't involve surveillance by police officers.
If nothing else, this week's protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP showed that online calls to action can be effective. Google, Craigslist, Wikipedia and countless other sites devoted online real estate to campaigns urging people to oppose the anti-piracy measures. Web users did so in droves. Google reported that more than 7 million people signed an online petition opposing the bills. At Wikipedia, more than 8 million people used an interactive tool to find the phone numbers of their representatives.
One day after Internet companies mounted a massive protest against proposed anti-piracy legislation, the federal authorities shut down the cyberlocker Megaupload for alleged copyright infringement. The government also said it had obtained arrest warrants against seven company executives, including founder Kim Dotcom.
Web companies don't always do the best job of explaining their stands on policy matters to the public. Issues like net neutrality, for instance, or policies regarding broadband competition, privacy, or even online taxes, can potentially affect a big swath of Internet companies -- and consumers -- yet few Web companies have been able to communicate why these topics are important -- at least not in a way that doesn't make people's eyes glaze over. But Internet companies ranging from Wikipedia to Reddit to Google to I Can Haz Cheezburger effectively used their platforms today to rally opposition to two …
In a move that defies logic -- not to mention due process -- a federal magistrate in the District of Columbia has ruled that people accused of copyright infringement, and who want to oppose unmasking orders, can only do so by placing their names in the public court docket.