Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to allow broadband providers to create paid fast lanes continues to draw some high-profile opposition. This week, the influential editorial board of "The New York Times" joined the roster of opponents to the "troubling" plan.
A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit accusing Yahoo of violating California privacy law by scanning email messages in order to surround them with ads.
Privacy advocates have long urged officials to support "fair information practice principles," which would limit companies' ability to collect, retain and use data about individuals. But those principles could pose challenges for researchers who want to draw on Big Data, says Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen. "Maximizing the benefits of big data may create tension with the notice and the purpose limitation principles," she writes in a letter sent to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration last week.
Verizon's recent announcement that it will start throttling some smartphone users seems to have brought new scrutiny to the wireless industry. Last month, Verizon unveiled a new network management plan that involves deliberately slowing down some of the company's 4G LTE users who are still on unlimited data plans. Even though the company no longer offers an unlimited-data option to new subscribers, it has allowed long-time users to retain their unlimited plans. Now, however, Verizon is qualifying its definition of "unlimited." Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler isn't too happy about that plan.
Google's proposed $8.5 million settlement of a privacy class-action has drawn an objection from the advocacy group Center for Class Action Fairness. The deal calls for Google to donate around $6 million to various nonprofits. If approved, the settlement will resolve allegations that the company "leaked" search users' names to publishers and advertisers via referrer headers -- the information that Google automatically transmits when users click the links on the search results.
The White House recently issued a mixed report on "Big Data," stating that companies could draw on data to personalize ads or content in ways that benefit consumers, but also could use data in a way that causes "real harm." Shortly after that report came out, the Commerce Department sought comments about some of the issues the document raised -- including whether new laws are needed to address some of the potential pitfalls of data collection. Some privacy advocates responded by calling for new restrictions on companies' ability to collect data -- particularly sensitive data, including information about health, race ...
A Virginia resident who is suing online data company Spokeo says there's no reason for the Supreme Court to get involved in the case. Thomas Robins filed papers this week asking the Supreme Court to let stand a decision issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Robins is entitled to proceed with his lawsuit.
Foursquare has revamped its app in a way that seems all but certain to set off a new round of debate about mobile users' privacy. The company now tracks users' locations by default -- even when the app is turned off -- and then draws on that data to send people recommendations.
A coalition of advocacy groups are reiterating their call for a privacy "bill of rights" that would limit marketers' ability to collect or use data about individuals. "Industry self-regulation is not enough, and has failed to inform or protect consumers," the organizations said Tuesday in a letter to the Commerce Department. The letter was signed by the ACLU, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Common Sense Media, and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.
People who post anonymous reviews are entitled to the same protections as political bloggers or anyone else who doesn't wish to reveal his or her name, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation argues in new court papers.