More than 8 million Web users visited the site operated by privacy self-regulatory group Network Advertising Initiative last year, while more than 800,000 opted out of online behavioral advertising, the organization reported today. Those numbers are up considerably since 2010, when around 2.8 million people visited the NAI's site and around 470,000 opted out of behavioral targeting, or receiving ads targeted based on sites they visited.
Privacy company Abine has filed a Federal Trade Commission complaint against the data broker BeenVerified for allegedly offering deceptive opt-outs. The company tells consumers that they can opt out of having their information displayed, but then reinstates users' data after only three months, Abine alleges.
The mobile social network Path landed in the middle of a privacy firestorm this week, thanks to developer Arun Thampi, who learned that the company was uploading users' entire address books to its servers. "I'm not insinuating that Path is doing something nefarious with my address book but I feel quite violated that my address book is being held remotely on a third-party service," Thampi wrote in a post outlining his findings. "I love Path as an iOS app and I think there are some brilliant people working on it, but this seems a little creepy."
Until very recently, Hollywood seemed to think that the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act were both slam-dunks. In fact, however, the bills drew adamant opposition from a myriad array of groups, including Internet engineers, venture capitalists, Web sites and ordinary users.T he bills were shelved two weeks ago, in the wake of massive protests. Now, Paramount is reaching out to academia in hopes of engaging in an "exchange of ideas" about piracy.
The ability to automatically connect faces to names has long captured the imagination of many people, not to mention corporations. Facebook already uses facial recognition technology -- though so far only to allow people to automatically tag their friends in photos.
When the federal authorities shut down Megaupload two weeks ago, millions of Web users lost access to personal photos, documents and other material they stored in the cloud. Whether they will ever see that data again remains an open question.
In one of the more perplexing recent judicial decisions, a federal magistrate in the Washington ruled in December that Web users who are accused of infringing copyright by downloading porn movies, and who want to fight for their anonymity, can only do so by first placing their names in the public record. This week, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation filed papers pointing out the absurdity of the order.