Ad industry representatives have long said that collecting data from anonymous Web users can only benefit consumers by enabling companies to provide customized ads. But law professor Paul Ohm, who will start work at the Federal Trade Commission on Monday, says the data collection efforts now underway could prove more harmful than people think.
File-sharer Joel Tenenbaum has lost another round in his long-running battle with the Recording Industry Association of America.
AT&T is defending its controversial decision to prohibit 3G customers on older data plans from using the FaceTime video chat iPhone app on the mobile network.Consumer advocates say that AT&T's plans -- which the company confirmed late last week -- will violate neutrality rules prohibiting wireless providers from blocking apps that compete with their own services.
Broadband in the U.S. still isn't being deployed in a "reasonable and timely" fashion, the Federal Communications Commission said on Tuesday in an annual report about high-speed Web service. This report marks the third time in a row the FCC has found broadband deployment lacking.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered Google and Oracle to disclose whether they had paid any journalists, bloggers or other commentators who wrote about the companies' copyright and patent dispute. Oracle revealed what everyone already knew -- that Florian Mueller, who authors the FOSS Patents blog, was on the payroll as a consultant. Google said in court papers filed on Friday that it hasn't directly paid anyone to comment on the issues in the case. But -- as Google acknowledges in its court papers -- that doesn't answer the question whether the company had paid people …
In April, the Department of Justice sued Apple and five book publishers for allegedly conspiring to increase the price of bestselling ebooks from Amazon's $9.99-per-download rate. Apple and two publishers -- Macmillan and Penguin -- are fighting the charges, while three other publishers -- Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster -- have agreed to a settlement. The proposed deal requires those three to immediately end their contracts with Apple. This week, Apple filed papers asking U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote to block the agreement between DOJ and the three publishers, arguing that it "penalizes Apple in a manner that …
In 2009, a report came out showing how social networks sometimes "leak" users' names to advertisers via referrer headers -- the URLs transmitted by publishers when users click on ads. While the report got a lot of attention, the issue itself wasn't new. Internet pioneer Tim Berners-Lee warned back in 1999 that referrer headers could leak information about Web users. But many users visited sites without creating profiles back then, which limits the risk that personal data will be leaked. Shortly after the report came out, a host of companies -- including Facebook -- were hit with class-action lawsuits for …
The ad agency Redpepper is causing a stir with a new app that uses facial recognition software to identify Facebook users when they enter retail stores, and then sends them ads based on their Facebook "likes."
Earlier this year, U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin granted class-action status to authors who were suing Google for infringing copyright with its book digitization project. That move marked a significant setback for Google, which had argued that a class-action wasn't appropriate. Today, a federal appellate court okayed the company's request to appeal Chin's decision. The move, which marks a victory for Google, is the latest twist in a seven-year old lawsuit by authors and publishers alleging that Google wrongly digitized the books and displayed snippets of them.
When it comes to data brokers, Congress should "proceed with caution to avoid stifling growth or impeding innovation," the Direct Marketing Association said today. "New restrictions on data or third-party data providers could have negative consequences not only for data providers, but for the countless entities that rely on such data sources to improve their marketing and grow their businesses," the DMA argues in a letter to lawmakers.