Blogs

Update on Do Not Track and WC3: Industry and WC3 Leaders Must Do More to Show they Care for Privacy

We agreed to keep talking---that's the real extent of the progress. We believe there is good will to collectively move forward.  But industry--and the WC3 leadership--must show they are meaningfully committed to help protect the privacy of individuals online.

DMA Reveals that Companies Have Been Targeting Kids Online--Want FTC to Prolong Kids Tracking

Today's missive from the Direct Marketing Association--along with the Chamber of Commerce, advertising, marketing, and TV lobby groups--urging the FTC to delay for months much-needed children's safeguards reveals an industry that has been engaged in behaviorally profiling and digitally stalking kids online (that's what retargeting is--you are stalked from site to site--and now platform (computer) to platform (mobile) as well.
 

Online Marketers and App Developer lobby tell FTC they want to Keep Tracking and Targeting Kids

Both the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Application Developers Alliance fought tooth in nail to prevent the FTC from adopting commonsense rules designed to protect children's privacy and empower parents.  So it's not a surprise that they would continue their efforts to undermine kid privacy by trying to derail the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) new rules via a lobbying maneuver.  Yesterday, the groups sent separate letters to the Commission asking that new rules not go into effect until the New Year--instead of this July.  The concept tha

Facebook/State AG deal on Teen Privacy Fails to Get to the Facts and Protect the Public

statement responding to the announcement by Maryland State AG and NAAG President Douglas Gansler on Facebook, teen privacy, and education.
 

CDD Praises EU Action on Google Privacy: Time for US companies to stop stealing other peoples' data

Global consumers, including in the U.S., should be grateful that a joint legal action by 6 European privacy regulators against Google seeks to protect their privacy.   France, United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Germany and Spain are the Data Protection authorities involved.
 

New Internet Industry Lobby Group (Google, Facebook, etc) Event Reveals Why US Companies Fighting EU Privacy Rights Legislation

The Internet Association is yet another well-funded special interest lobby group created to push the agenda of the digital data collection industry.  While it frames its work as "Protecting Internet Freedom," its real role is to act as a political defense mechanism for the industry.  When it serves their interests, it will fight against repressive proposals and policies that impact Internet users and their own role as conduits and provid

Datamining our "Likes" on Facebook reveals details about our personal lives--new research

Facebook and other online data collectors are able to continually gather and analyze the digital bits of behavior that make up our identities.  A new study entitled "Private traits and attributes are predictable from digital records of human behavior," via Cambridge and Microsoft Research researchers illustrate the social surveillance infrastructure Facebook and so many others have unleashed.   No one would willingly permit the FBI

Direct Marketing Association (DMA): Privacy safeguards threatens "our data–driven way of life"

The Direct Marketing Association has not played a positive role in the debate over privacy.  For example, it (absurdly) has worked to exempt all the forms of data collection marketers do from the proposed Do Not Track safeguard.   As it plans for its big Washington, DC conference, look at how it frames the problem:
 

Facebook merges its Big Data on its Users with Big Data Brokers--and buys ad tracker Atlas

As part of the comprehensive system of commercial surveillance tracking us 24/7 wherever we go and do, more companies are integrating offline and purchasing data with online information.  But when the largest commercial database of individuals around the world marries its user data with the ton of consumer records held by Acxiom, Epsilon, Bluekai and

Facebook Gets a Privacy Pass from Better Business Bureau--the attack of the invisible "icons." Using a "Grey X" on FB Exchange

The Better Business Bureau is a member of the Digital Advertising Alliance (DMA, IAB, 4As, ANA).  Yet they are responsible somehow for evaluating how companies comply with the icon-based privacy program adopted by the commercial data marketing industry.  We have raised concerns about the efficacy of the icon.  The BBB just approved Facebook's use of the icon for its far-reaching data targeting system known as the Facebook Exchange.  Already barely viewable, the tiny icons are to be used by Facebook via a

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