The BitTorrent indexer IsoHunt will join the likes of Grokster, Limewire and the original Napster in the roster of file-sharing services shut down by the entertainment industry.
A coalition of privacy groups are renewing their request that U.S. District Court Judge Edward Davila nix a class-action settlement that would require Google to donate $8.5 million to seven nonprofits and schools. The groups take issue with the proposed recipients of the funds -- AARP, World Privacy Forum, Carnegie-Mellon, Chicago-Kent College of Law Center for Internet, Society & Policy, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, and Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Of those, only the World Privacy Forum has previously challenged Google on privacy issues, according to the settlement opponents.
Companies that want to send SMS ads to consumers need to jump through some new hoops starting tomorrow, when new regulations go into effect. The new rules, enacted by the Federal Communications Commission last year, provide that companies must obtain consumers' written consent before sending them SMS ads. What's more, companies must explicitly tell consumers, before they consent, that they will receive calls made by autodialers.
A "significant minority" of publishers don't follow self-regulatory rule requiring enhanced notice about data collection, an enforcement unit of the Better Business Bureau said today.
Google said today that it plans to start a program similar to Facebook's controversial sponsored stories ads. Specifically, the search company will now show Google+ users' names, photos, reviews, +1s, stars and the like in ads. Unlike Facebook, Google is making it relatively easy for people to opt out of its newest advertising initiative. Also unlike Facebook, Google also won't turn users under 18 into endorsers. But the new feature probably still won't be popular with people who would rather not be drafted into word-of-mouth campaigns.
The Internet standards group World Wide Web Consortium -- which has been trying for two years to come up with privacy standards for online behavioral advertising -- remains as hopelessly divided as ever. The latest conflict centers on whether the group should even continue with the privacy initiative. This week, the W3C polled members of the tracking group to determine whether they wanted to keep going and, if so, how to proceed. The results are completely perplexing.
Airbnb went to court today to fight New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's subpoena for data about approximately 15,000 state residents who have hosted guests through the service. The room rental company says Schneiderman's request is too broad, and that complying with it will compromise users' privacy. Airbnb filed its court papers in response to a subpoena seeking detailed information about many New York residents who used the service to rent out apartments or houses to visitors since 2010.
A recent ruling that Google potentially violates wiretap laws with Gmail ads has paved the way for a spate of lawsuits against Yahoo, which also surrounds email with contextual ads.
Google is getting some help in its effort to convince a federal appellate court to reconsider its recent ruling that the company might have violated wiretap laws by snooping on open WiFi networks.
Three years ago, New York passed a law banning people from renting out their apartments for less than 30 days at a time. That measure largely makes it illegal for people to use Craigslist, Airbnb or other services to turn their apartments into hotels and offer rooms to tourists who are in the city for less than 30 days. Scofflaws face the prospect of large fines, which could wipe out the profits they make from renting their apartments. Recently, a city agency vacated a $2,400 fine levied on a condo owner who rented his apartment to a tourist -- but …