• Will Time Warner's Metered Billing Lead To Overcharging?
    Three years ago, faced with a widespread backlash, Time Warner retreated from a controversial plan to test pay-per-byte billing. This week, however, Time Warner announced it intends to relaunch metered billing -- though on an opt-in basis. The company says it will offer some subscribers in parts of southern Texas the ability to save $5 a month on their bills by limiting their data transmission to 5GB per month. The cable giant adds that people can opt-in or out of the tiered plans at any time.
  • EU Official: Google's Privacy Policy 'Raises Fears'
    Google's new privacy policy, slated to take effect on Thursday, violates a European directive requiring companies to tell people how their data will be used, a top regulator told the company this week.
  • After Losing Lawsuit Over Throttling, AT&T Could Face New Wave Of Claims
    In 2010, AT&T said it would no longer allow new subscribers to purchase unlimited data plans. Existing customers, however, who already had unlimited plans would be allowed to retain them. Last July, however, AT&T announced that it would begin throttling even users on unlimited plans -- a move it justified as part of an effort to "manage exploding demand" for data. The company said it would reduce speeds for smartphone users on unlimited plans who are among the top 5% of heaviest data users. Many of AT&T's customers who were paying for unlimited mobile data likely weren't happy. One …
  • Battle Between Ratings Site And Law Firm Escalates
    A dispute between a Florida law firm and the review company Ratingz.net has landed in federal court, where Ratingz is asking a judge to declare that the company can't be held responsible for comments posted by users.
  • Do-Not-Track Advances, But Debate About Meaning Of 'Tracking' Continues
    This week, after years of debate, the ad industry has agreed to support a universal, easy-to-use, do-not-track tool that will enable consumers to opt out of all behavioral targeting.
  • Attorneys General Concerned By Google's New Privacy Policy
    Attorneys general from 36 states told Google CEO Larry Page they are concerned by the company's plan to start combining information about signed-in users across a variety of products and services, including Gmail, Android, and YouTube.
  • FTC Wants EPIC To Butt Out Of Enforcement Decision
    The watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center recently went to court in an attempt to nix Google's new privacy policy. The privacy advocates asked for a court order requiring the FTC to take action against Google before it changes its policy. The FTC, not surprisingly, isn't thrilled that EPIC is seeking a court order against the agency. In papers filed on Friday, the FTC says that outside groups like EPIC shouldn't get to weigh in on the decision about whether to bring an enforcement action.
  • Google Gets Around Safari's Privacy-Friendly Default Settings
    Shortly after news broke this morning that Google and other companies were using a workaround to drop cookies on Safari users, Interactive Advertising Bureau general counsel Mike Zaneis took to Twitter to express his opinion. "Safari DEFAULT blocking cookies is a technology limitation, not a consumer privacy setting," he wrote. The implication is that Google (and the other ad companies) didn't circumvent users' privacy settings because they hadn't explicitly configured their computers to block third-party cookies. Rather, Apple did so for them. Surely, however, some users browse the Web with Safari precisely because of its privacy settings.
  • Ron Paul Camp Presses Claim To Unmask Attack Ad Creator
    At the beginning of the year, a Twitter and YouTube user with the screen name NHLiberty4Paul uploaded an attack ad on former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. The clip, titled "Jon Huntsman's values," intersperses questions like "Weak on China? Wonder Why?" and "What's he hiding?" with video footage of the ex-U.S. Ambassador to China candidate speaking Chinese. The ad ends with a screen asking people to support presidential hopeful Ron Paul. Paul, who is famous for his libertarian views, quickly disavowed the clip. His campaign also filed a federal lawsuit alleging that NHLiberty4Paul infringed Paul's trademark, engaged in false advertising, …
  • SEC Says Telecoms Must Allow Shareholders To Vote On Net Neutrality
    Last year, net neutrality advocates proposed that shareholders of Verizon, AT&T and Sprint vote to endorse neutrality principles at their annual meetings. The proposals -- by institutional investors as well as individuals like "Mike D." of the Beastie Boys -- call for the telecoms to commit to follow neutrality principles when operating their wireless networks. Specifically, the proposals say that telecoms should promise that they won't degrade or prioritize content based on which company owns it, or who will receive the material.
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