• Google's Privacy Policy Illegal, Dutch Officials Say
    Google's current privacy policy, which allows the company to mesh together data collected from different platforms -- including Gmail, Android and YouTube -- violates Dutch law, officials said today. "The combining of personal data by Google since the introduction of its new privacy policy ... is in breach of the Dutch data protection act," Dutch privacy regulators stated. "Google combines the personal data from internet users that are collected by all kinds of different Google services, without adequately informing the users in advance and without asking for their consent."
  • GoldieBlox Takes Down Beastie Boys Parody
    The GoldieBlox-Beastie Boys flare-up this week sparked much blogosphere debate about whether companies have the right to post ads that include song parodies. But the questions raised by GoldieBlox's viral ad are likely to remain unanswered, at least for now, because the toy company pulled down the clip last night.
  • Federal Judge Finds FilmOn X In Contempt
    A federal judge in Washington, D.C. found Alki David's FilmOn X in contempt of court for operating its service in Boston, in defiance of a court order prohibiting the company from streaming TV shows.
  • GoldieBlox Sues Beastie Boys, Argues Parody Ad Is Fair Use
    A dispute between toy company GoldieBlox and the Beastie Boys has landed in court, with GoldieBlox asking for a declaratory judgment that an ad it posted to YouTube doesn't infringe copyright.
  • Senator Urges Commerce Dept. To Address Facial Recognition Technology
    Facebook's decision to move forward with plans to draw on profile photos for its automatic-tagging feature highlights the need for the Commerce Department to develop best practices for facial recognition technology. So says Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who this week reiterated his request that the National Telecommunications & Information Administration address the privacy implications of facial recognition software.
  • WordPress Takes Aim At Bogus Takedown Notices
    Earlier this year, student journalist Oliver Hotham posted an item to his WordPress blog about an anti-gay group called Straight Pride, U.K. Before writing the article, Hotham, who lives in London, sent the group written questions. Hotham says that he received answers in the form of a document titled "press statement," which came from someone who identified himself as Nick Steiner and said he was a press officer. Hotham incorporated those answers into his piece and posted it to his WordPress blog. Straight Pride evidently didn't think much of the article. Hotham says that after it went live, Steiner contacted …
  • Wikipedia Rattles Sabre At WikiPR
    Escalating its fight against so-called "sockpuppetry," Wikipedia has sicced its legal team on WikiPR, a company that says it offers consulting services to help clients draft or manage their entries on the online encyclopedia. "When outside publicity firms and their agents conceal or misrepresent their identity by creating or allowing false, unauthorized or misleading user accounts, Wikipedia's reputation is harmed," the Web encyclopedia's lawyers write in a cease-and-desist letter sent to Wiki-PR this week. "Sockpuppetry and meatpuppetry are especially harmful when used to disguise secret works of advocacy."
  • FTC Names Privacy Expert As Chief Technologist
    Signaling its continuing interest in online privacy, The Federal Trade Commission has tapped privacy expert Latanya Sweeney to serve as the agency's chief technologist. Her appointment comes as the online ad industry is increasingly discussing the feasibility of addressing privacy concerns by "de-identifying" data that's been collected from consumers as they surf the Web.
  • Google Fined $17M By State Attorneys General For Safari Hack
    Last year, Google agreed to a $22.5 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission for circumventing Safari users' privacy settings. Now, the search company has also agreed to pay $17 million to 36 states and the District of Columbia for the privacy snafu.
  • FCC Head Pushes Wireless Group To Endorse Cell Phone Unlocking
    Consumers could soon regain the ability to legally unlock their cell phones, if the new Federal Communications Commission head has his way. This week, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told the wireless industry group CTIA to revise its consumer code to make clear that consumers can unlock their wireless phones after the expiration of their contracts.
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