Privacy experts have long said that even anonymous Web users sometimes leave behind enough clues that people can piece together their identities.
Major Internet service providers could move forward as early as July with a controversial plan to police networks for unlawful file-sharing, CNET reports. The plan, announced last year, calls for AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon and other ISPs to send a series of warnings to users who allegedly use peer-to-peer networks to upload or download copyrighted files. If the warnings prove ineffective, the ISPs will institute "mitigation measures," ranging from slowing down users' service to disconnecting them.
Last month, shortly after news broke that app developers were gathering iPhone users' address books without their permission, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) sent Apple CEO Tim Cook a host of questions about how the company enforces privacy guidelines. The lawmakers wanted to know how many iTunes apps transmit data about users -- including address-book data. Waxman and Butterfield also specifically asked Cook how many of those apps first ask users' permission.
Barry Diller's Aereo has asked a federal judge in New York to declare that the company's new video service is legit. Aereo says in its court papers that its business model -- which involves capturing free TV signals with antennas, and then streaming those signals to computers -- doesn't infringe copyright because consumers are allowed to install antennas themselves in order to watch TV.
Two years ago, Stephens Media, parent company of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, tapped the startup Righthaven to sue bloggers, nonprofits and small publishers who allegedly posted news articles on their sites without licenses.
The Federal Communications Commission appears interested in taking a closer look at Verizon's proposed alliance with cable companies. Today, the agency asked Verizon and cable companies for a host of data relating to the deals, which call for Verizon to pay almost $4 billion to license spectrum from Comcast, Cox, Time Warner and BrightHouse Networks. Verizon and the cable providers also intend to enter into joint marketing agreements.
Digital locker service Hotfile was sued by movie studios last year for allegedly enticing users to infringe copyright. The company fired back with a lawsuit against one of the studios -- Warner Bros. -- for allegedly filing bogus takedown notices. Both of those matters are now heating up in court.
n late 2010, the Federal Trade Commission called on the ad industry to develop a universal and simple tool that would enable consumers to opt out of all online behavioral advertising. Mozilla quickly rolled out a do-not-track header for consumers to activate. Until recently, only a small number of ad networks said they wouldn't track people who activated the header. Two weeks ago, the concept of browser-based headers got a big boost when the self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance promised to require members to honor such signals. Now regulators in Europe -- which has far broader privacy laws than the …
When the startup ivi began distributing television programs online last year, broadcasters promptly obtained an injunction shuttering the service for alleged copyright infringement. Now broadcasters are trying to prevent Barry Diller's IAC from rolling out Aereo, a $12 a month service that allows people to watch TV shows on their computers or other Web devices. The service is slated to launch in New York on March 14, unless the courts put the kibosh on it.
Last August, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District in California shut down wireless service at some stations because it was concerned about planned protests at those stations.