Blogs

Law Review Article Explores New World of Consumer Credit, Digital Decision-making, and FCRA, by CDD & USPI

"Selling Consumers-Not Lists: The New World of Digital Decision-making and the Role of the Fair Credit Reporting Act" has just been published in the Suffolk University Law Review (Vol. XLVI, No. 3, 2013).  Co-authored by Ed Mierzwinski (USPIRG) and I, an earlier version of the paper was frst delivered at a 2012 conference organized by the National Consumer Law Center and Suffolk.   It accompanies other papers on credit scoring on a range of important issues.
 

Target's Data breach, NSA Surveillance, and Google, Facebook, Yahoo Approach to Privacy: The linkage

Target is currently the focus of scrutiny for its data breach involving as many as 110 million consumers.  Target's gathering of consumer data includes its growing use of mobile device related information; indeed they were named "2013 Mobile Retailer of the Year" last month.  Mobile Commerce Daily, which awarded Target with that designation, explained that:

Acxiom: "For every consumer we have more than 5,000 attributes of customer data"

If one goes to Acxiom's www.aboutthedata.com, a consumer only sees a "portion" of what the databroker giant knows about them.  More telling is this story from MediaPost yesterday when Axciom was named "Supplier of the Year" for the digital marketing business.  "For every consumer we have more than 5,000 attributes of customer data,” they explained.  Acxiom's Phil Mui adde

Is US Commerce Sec. Penny Pritzker justifying violating Consumer Privacy with her NSA "cost-benefit analysis" proposal? -updated

The Department of Commerce's role is to boost U.S. industry, so it's not surprising--although alarming--that reports say Secretary Pritzker has recommened the White House adopt a "cost-benefit analysis" as it develops its NSA spying policies.  Ms.

Must-hear radio interview on data brokers, digital marketing, privacy with NYT's Natasha Singer and Prof. A. Marwick

NPR affiliate WHYY aired a terrific show today called "What advertisers and marketers know about us and how they use our personal information"  NYT reporter Natasha Singer and Fordham Prof. Alice Marwick, author of a recent NYRB article on the issue, do a terrific job addressing the key issues.  A must-hear show!

Hispanics Growing Target of Data-driven services where individuals are bought and sold by advertisers in real-time

So-called programmatic buying is a dressed up term by databrokers and marketers to describe the use of Big Data and NSA-like tracking techniques to identify individuals who are ripe for targeting--whether they are using a PC, mobile device or increasingly TV.  We have raised both the privacy, consumer protection, and ethical concerns inherent in this practice--which increasingly dom

Maintaining and Promoting Data and Digital Consumer Protection Safeguards in TAFTA: The U.S. Must Stand Up for Internet Freedom

[Presentation given by Jeff Chester today at the request of the USTR at a meeting of stakeholders working on the US/EU trade agreement]
 
 

Parents Against Allowing Children Under Age 13 to Join Facebook according to new research via Yale U

The Rudd Center at Yale University has released a report on a survey asking parents about whether children 13 and under should be allowed on Facebook.  Nearly 3/4 of all parents say children should not have their own Facebook profiles.  The report is available here.  It also showed that "more than two-thirds of the parents surveyed said it would not be okay for fast food, soft drink and other snack companies to market to children on Facebook or for any adver

Digital Hypocrisy: Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo, et al on Surveillance Reform. Gov't Yes--Themselves-NO!

The lobbying blitz launched today called "ReformGovernmentSurveillance.com"  illustrates the lack of honesty by the leading online companies, including Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, AOL.  These global data collection giants that track individuals nearly 24/7 and sell access to their sensitive information to outsiders are happy to point a digital finger at government surveillance, but not examine their own roles.  They want limits on government access to information--in part because it is now hurt

Why Twitter Users Should Protect Privacy & use Do Not Track for its Big Data tracking & targeting ad scheme

Twitter's new "Tailored Audiences" digital marketing system is another expansion of how individuals (and their friends) are increasingly subjected to commercial surveillance techniques.  Of course, Twitter is just among the many that feel they have the right to collect, analyze and then make actionable information on us.  The company (like Google and Facebook) principally rely on advertising revenues generated by selling our identities to advertisers.  This business model is a serious threat to privacy.   Twitter

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