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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Google's Schmidt on Targeted Ads, Monetization & the Future of News

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins has a terrific, wide-ranging interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt in today's paper that is well worth reading. One thing worth highlighting is Schmidt's comments on the "economic disaster that is the American newspaper." He argues that, "The only way the problem [of insufficient revenue for news gathering] is going to be solved is by increasing monetization, and the only way I know of to increase monetization is through targeted ads."

Absolutely correct. It's a point that Berin Szoka, Ken Ferree and I tried to make in PFF's mega-filing in the FCC's "Future of Media" proceeding in early May, and Berin and I stressed it in even more detail in our piece on"Chairman Leibowitz's Disconnect on Privacy Regulation & the Future of News." The key takeaway: If Washington goes to war against advertising -- and targeted advertising in particular -- then there will be no future for private news. As we stated there:

The reason for the indispensability of advertising is simple: Information (including news and other forms of "content") has "public good" characteristics that make it is very difficult (and occasionally impossible) for information-publishers to recoup their investments. Simply put, they quite literally lack pricing power: Whatever they charge, someone else will charge less for a close substitute, inevitably leading to "free" distribution of the content, even though the content is anything but free to produce. Advertising is the one business model that has traditionally saved the day by rewarding publishers for attracting the attention of an audience.

Thus an attack on advertising is an attack on media / news itself. And yet Washington is currently engaged in an all-out assault on advertising, marketing, and data collection efforts / business models.

Incidentally, Google recently submitted comments with the Federal Trade Commission in reaction to its Staff Discussion Draft about the future of journalism and laid out their views on many of these issues. More importantly, as summarized on pg. 30 (of the pdf) of this Newspaper Association of America filing to the FTC, Google has proposed an interesting monetization model that utilizes Google Search, Google Checkout and DoubleClick ad server, "to build a premium content system for newspapers." Worth checking out. Kudos to Google for taking these steps and to Schmidt for again stressing the importance of targeted advertising for the future of media.

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:30 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Mass Media, Media Regulation

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Privacy MythBusters: No, Facebook Doesn't Give Advertisers Your Data!

Working in any field of public policy is a bit like living in a haunted house: You spend most of your day dodging bogeymen, ghosts, phantasms, phantoms and specters of imagined harms, frauds, invasions and various conspiracies supposedly perpetrated by evil companies against helpless consumers, justice, God, Gaia, small woodland creatures and every sort of underserved, disadvantaged and/or underprivileged group of man, animal, vegetable and mineral imaginable.

But Internet policy--particularly online privacy--tends to be haunted by such groundless imaginings far more than most other areas of policy, largely because it manifests itself in ways that are far more real and immediate to ordinary users. For example, as outraged as any of us might feel about the Gulf oil spill, how many of us have the slightest clue what's really involved (beyond what we've learned watching TV anchors stumble through a vocabulary they don't understand)?

By contrast, huge numbers of Americans have daily interaction with web services like those provided by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Twitter and Facebook. That doesn't mean we necessarily understand how these technologies work. Indeed, quite the contrary! As Arthur C. Clark said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." But we often think we know how these technological marvels work, and certainly sound much more informed when we spout off (pun intended) about these things than, say, "top kills" on the bottom of the ocean floor. In short, we know just enough web services to be dangerous when we ground strong policy positions in our unsophisticated understanding of how things really work online.

There are few better examples of this than the constantly repeated bugaboo that "Facebook sells your data to advertisers!" Or "Facebook only wants you to share more information with more people for advertising purposes!" These myths bear no relation to how advertising on social networking sites actually works, as Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg explains beautifully in a short tutorial video. Here's the key portion:

Continue reading Privacy MythBusters: No, Facebook Doesn't Give Advertisers Your Data! . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:56 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Joint CDT-PFF-EFF Comments on FTC's COPPA Review & the Dangers of COPPA Expansion

"Don't turn COPPA into a sweeping age verification mandate for the Internet!" That was essentially the core message of joint comments (below) Adam Thierer and I today filed with the Center for Democracy & Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation on the FTC's Implementation Review of the rules that implement the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (which requires verifiable parental consent for kids under 13 to use most interactive sites and services if those sites are "directed to" them or if the site has "actual knowledge" it might be collecting personal information from such kids or allowing them to share such information through the site).

Specifically, we counsel the Commission against expanding COPPA beyond its original, limited purposes and scope, or calling on Congress to enact an expansion. In a techno-functional sense, COPPA is already "expansive," since it is essentially device- and technology- neutral--essentially applying to any site or service that uses the Internet. That flexibility should allow the FTC to apply the statute in a changing landscape without further legislative changes. But we explain why COPPA is necessarily narrow in its age scope and the "directed to" and "actual knowledge" concepts that actually trigger COPPA's requirements--and why changing any one of these three critical parts would inevitably lead to unconstitutional restrictions on the speech rights of adults, minors, and site operators, while actually reducing online privacy but without enhancing the online safety of children.

We call instead for the agency (i) to use the breadth and flexibility already given to it by Congress in the COPPA statute to enforce the statute in a manner consistent with the rapidly changing technical landscape and (ii) to supplement enforcement of that existing law with increased educational efforts and promotion of parental empowerment solutions.

Adam and I certainly have our differences with CDT and EFF on some issues, but this is not one of them! I'm deeply proud to join with these organizations in pointing out the unintended consequences of expanding regulation in an area where all too many people stop thinking carefully about the effects of regulation because, they seem to think, "We can never do enough for the children!" As we point out in our comments, the trade-offs here aren't just between "The Children" and anyone's narrow economic interests, but run far, far deeper. Adam & I did our best to succinctly capture the true, complex cluster of issues at stake with the title of the paper we released last summer about COPPA expansion: "COPPA 2.0: The New Battle over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech."

The stakes here for our digital future could hardly be higher, yet more subtle.

Continue reading Joint CDT-PFF-EFF Comments on FTC's COPPA Review & the Dangers of COPPA Expansion . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 3:23 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Future of Journalism & Washington's War on Advertising

So, I'm sitting here at today's Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshop, "Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?" and several panelists have argued that private "professional" media is toast, not just because of the rise of the Net and digital media, but also because the inherent cross-subsidy that advertising has traditionally provided is drying up. It very well could be the case that both statements are true and that private media operators are in some trouble because of it. But what nobody seems to be acknowledging is that our government is currently on the regulatory warpath against advertising and that this could have profound impact on the outcome of this debate. As Berin Szoka and I noted in a recent paper, "The Hidden Benefactor: How Advertising Informs, Educates & Benefits Consumers," the FTC, the FCC, the FDA, and Congress are all considering, or already imposing, a host of new rules that will seriously affect advertising markets. This article in AdAge today confirms this:
The advertising industry is heading for a "tsunami" of regulation and is at a "tipping point" of greatly increased scrutiny, warned a panel on social media and privacy at the American Advertising Federation conference here [in Orlando].
The reason this is so important for the ongoing debate about the future of media and journalism is because, as Berin and I argued in our paper:

Continue reading The Future of Journalism & Washington's War on Advertising . . .

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:17 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Mass Media, Media Regulation, The News Frontier

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

What We Didn't Hear at Yesterday's FTC COPPA Workshop

Yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hosted an all-day workshop on "Protecting Kids' Privacy Online," which looked into the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA) and challenges posed to its enforcement by new technological developments. The FTC staff did a nice job bringing together and moderating 5 panels worth of participants, all of whom had plenty of interesting things to say about the future of COPPA. But I was more struck by what was not said yesterday. Namely, there was:


  • ZERO explanation of the supposed harms of advertising, marketing, and data collection. Advertising-bashing is an old sport here in Washington, so I guess I should not have been surprised to hear several panelists yesterday engaging in teeth-gnashing and hand-wringing about advertising, marketing, and the data collection methods that make it possible. But this grousing just went on and on without any explanation by the critics of the supposed harms that would result from it.

  • ZERO appreciation of the benefits of advertising, marketing, and data collection. Not once yesterday -- NOT ONCE -- did anyone pause to ask what it is that makes all these wonderful online sites, services and content free (or dirt cheap) to consumers. Everyone at this show was guilty of the "manna fallacy" (that all this stuff just falls magically to Earth from the Net Gods above). Well, back here in the real world, something has to pay for all those goodies, and that something is advertising and marketing, which are facilitated by data collection! Or would you like to pay $19.95 a month for each of those currently free sites and services? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Continue reading What We Didn't Hear at Yesterday's FTC COPPA Workshop . . .

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:46 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Three Cheers for Facebook's Privacy Management Upgrade

Last week, Facebook announced significant improvements to its privacy management tools. As explained in the new Privacy Guide, this upgrade allows users to exercise greater and easier choice over sharing of their information on the site and through the site to third party applications and external websites.

By giving users powerful new tools to further protect their privacy, Facebook has employed a potent weapon to deal with marketplace apprehensions: self-regulation. Government intervention stands little chance in acting as swiftly or as effectively to tackle such matters. Rather than short-circuiting the self-regulatory process, we should trust that users are capable of choosing for themselves if given the right tools, and that companies like Facebook will respond to reputational pressure to develop, and constantly improve, those tools. That approach is far more likely to move us towards the ideal of user empowerment than is heavy-handed government regulation, which would override marketplace experimentation and have many unintended consequences for free online sites and services like Facebook.

Today's announcement represents a major leap forward for privacy controls, but of course the company will have to keep innovating in this area as it does in others. In particular, I hope Facebook and other social networking services like MySpace, Buzz, LinkedIn and Flickr will all work on the next logical step forward: building Applications Programming Interfaces (API) that will allow third party tools to tap into each site's unique privacy settings so that users can have a single "dashboard" for controlling how they share data across platforms. Such a "Privacy API" would take one step further what Facebook has started today: the challenging problem of giving users both granularity/complexity and ease/simplicity, depending on what they want in any particular context.  Ideally, such tools would also allow users to harmonize their lists of friends across multiple platforms so they can manage their sharing more easily. For example, Facebook offers powerful privacy functionality by letting users restrict access to particular information or shared items to, say, their family, or specific groups of friends configured by the user. Portability of those lists would make privacy empowerment far easier for users.

But Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's important to remember that opening up this kind of access comes with its own risks. Again, innovation is an iterative process and, as such, takes time. Today's announcement should instill great confidence that there is strong reputational pressure on companies like Facebook to meet this challenge, and vie with each other for leadership in privacy empowerment.

One thing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg mentioned in the press conference bears special emphasis: It's a myth that Facebook is hell-bent on getting users to share more information more widely for the sake of of advertisers. In fact, advertising on Facebook doesn't involve sharing information about users with advertisers. In fact, advertisers buy ads that Facebook shows to users Facebook (or rather, its algorithms) thinks might be interested. If anything, sharing more information can actually help Facebook's competitors if users take advantage of Facebook Connect's data portability to port their data over to competing platforms. So the widely perceived conflict of interest between Facebook's economic interests and users' privacy just doesn't exist. The site gains from having more users spend more time on the site, not from tricking users into "giving up their privacy."

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:53 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PFF Event Recap: Nuts & Bolts of Online Privacy, Advertising, Notice & Choice

We had a great discussion yesterday about the technical underpinnings of the ongoing privacy policy debate in light of the discussion draft of privacy legislation recently released by Chairman Rick Boucher (see PFF's initial comments here and here). I moderated a free-wheeling discussion among terrific panel consisting of:


Here's the audio (video to come!)


Ari got us started with an intro to the Boucher bill and Shane offered an overview of the technical mechanics of online advertising and why it requires data about what users do online. Lorrie & Ari then talked about concerns about data collection, leading into a discussion of the challenges and opportunities for empowering privacy-sensitive consumers to manage their online privacy without breaking the advertising business model that sustains most Internet content and services. In particular, we had a lengthy discussion of the need for computer-readable privacy disclosures like P3P (pioneered by Lorrie & Ari) and the CLEAR standard developed by Yahoo! and others as a vital vehicle for self-regulation, but also an essential ingredient in any regulatory system that requires that notice be provided of the data collection practices of all tracking elements on the page.

Continue reading PFF Event Recap: Nuts & Bolts of Online Privacy, Advertising, Notice & Choice . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:53 AM | Advertising & Marketing, PFF Podcasts, Privacy

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Monday, May 24, 2010

"The Rise and Fall of Information Empires" & Constant Growth of Regulation"The Rise and Fall of Information Empires" & Constant Growth of Regulation

Today's NYT piece by Brad Stone about Google (Sure, It's Big. But Is That Bad?) offers a superb example of how to use the rhetorical question in an article headlined to suggest that you might actually be about to write a thoughtful, balanced piece--while actually writing a piece that, while thoughtful and interesting, offers little more than token resistance to your own preconceived judgments. But perhaps I'm being unfair: Perhaps Stone's editors removed "YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!" from the headline for brevity's sake?

Anyway, despite its one-sidedness, the piece is fascinating, offering a well-researched summary of the growing cacophony of cries for regulatory intervention against Google, and also a suggestion of where they might lead in crafting a broader regulatory regime for online services beyond just Google. In short, the crusade against Google and the crusade for net neutrality (in which Google has, IMHO unwisely been a major player) are together leading us down in intellectual slippery slope that, as Adam and I have suggested, will result in "High-Tech Mutually Assured Destruction" and the death of Real Internet Freedom.

Ironically, this push for increased government meddling--a veritable "New Deal 2.0"--is all justified by the need to "protect freedom." But it would hardly be the first time that this had happened. As the great defender of liberty Garet Garrett said of the New Deal 1.0 in his 1938 essay The Revolution Was:

There are those who still think they are holding the pass against a revolution that may be coming up the road. But they are gazing in the wrong direction. The revolution is behind them. It went by in the Night of Depression, singing songs to freedom.

That theme lives on in the works of those like antitrust warrior Gary Reback, an anti-Google stalwart whose book Free the Market: Why Only Government Can Keep the Marketplace Competitive Adam savaged in his review last year. Reback argues:
Google is the "arbiter of every single thing on the Web, and it favors its properties over everyone else's," said Mr. Reback, sitting in a Washington cafe with the couple. "What it wants to do is control Internet traffic. Anything that undermines its ability to do that is threatening."

Move over, ISPs! Search engines are the real threat! Somehow, I feel fairly confident in predicting that this will be among the chief implications of Tim Wu's new book, The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, to be released in November, which his publisher summarizes as follows:

Continue reading "The Rise and Fall of Information Empires" & Constant Growth of Regulation"The Rise and Fall of Information Empires" & Constant Growth of Regulation . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:42 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Takedowns and Daiquiris: Viacom v. YouTube Hosts a Grokster Reunion

The genuinely tragic case Viacom v. YouTube is now hosting a new amicus brief filed "in Support of the Defendants." In it, familiar arguments made by familiar amici illuminate both the illegality and the immorality of what can be called the "takedowns-and-daiquiris" interpretation of the "hosting-service safe harbor" enacted in § 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, (the "DMCA").

In effect, this "takedowns-and-daiquiris" interpretation of § 512 attempts to abrogate the Supreme Court's unanimous decision in MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd., 545 U.S. 913 (2005). Again, its advocates interpret another federal law to grant a "safe harbor" to online service providers who intend to profit by letting unsophisticated consumers assume potentially ruinous direct liability for the millions of infringing acts required to build an Internet business based upon mass piracy.

Below, I explain why these efforts to imagine that the DMCA overturns or limits Grokster should fail just as miserably as the defense of the indefensible Grokster Defendants.

Continue reading Takedowns and Daiquiris: Viacom v. YouTube Hosts a Grokster Reunion . . .

posted by Thomas Sydnor @ 7:55 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Copyright, IP, Innovation, Intermediary Deputization & Section 230, Internet

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

PFF Hill Briefing 5/24 @ Noon: Nuts & Bolts of Online Privacy, Advertising, Notice & Choice

In light of the discussion draft of privacy legislation recently released by Chairman Rick Boucher (our comments here and here), PFF is holding a special "Nuts & Bolts" luncheon briefing on the technical underpinnings of the ongoing privacy policy debate on Monday, May 24, 2010, 12-2 p.m. in 2123 Rayburn House Office Building.

Our panel of distinguished experts will provide an overview of the technical mechanics of online advertising and associated concerns about data collection, and discuss challenges and opportunities for empowering privacy-sensitive consumers to manage their online privacy without breaking the advertising business model that sustains most Internet content and services. I'll moderate a terrific panel:


To Register: Space is limited, so an RSVP is required to attend. Please register online here. Event questions should be addressed to Adam Marcus at amarcus@pff.org. Media inquiries should be directed to Mike Wendy at mwendy@pff.org.

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:50 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

PFF TechCast #5: Concerns about the Boucher-Stearns Privacy Bill

posted by Berin Szoka @ 6:28 PM | Advertising & Marketing, PFF Podcasts, Privacy

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's Yours is Mine: The Dangerous Implications of a "Right" to Free Credit Scores

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:35 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Copyright, Privacy, The FTC

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Statement on House Privacy Discussion Draft

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:59 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

PFF TechCast #4: Senate Testimony on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:18 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, PFF Podcasts, Privacy

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Terrific Study on Cost of Opt-In Privacy Regulatory Regime, but...

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:06 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Reminder: PFF Hill Briefing Today on Super-Sizing the FTC & What It Means for the Internet, Media & Advertising

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:22 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Events, The FTC

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

3 Upcoming Events: Super-Sizing the FTC (4/16), FTC v. Google on AdMob (4/15) & Must-Carry (4/27)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:35 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Events, Media Regulation

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Digital Due Process: Protecting Americans' Privacy by Restoring Constitutional Limits to Government in ECPA

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:29 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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PFF Briefing 4/16: Super-Sizing the FTC & What It Means for the Internet, Media & Advertising

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:26 PM | Advertising & Marketing, E-commerce, Privacy, The FTC

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

FTC Announces Broad COPPA Review for Children's Online Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:24 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Monday, March 22, 2010

FTC Chairman Leibowitz: Just Trust Us, We Won't Abuse Vast New Powers!

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:19 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy, The FTC

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How Financial Overhaul Could Put the FTC on Steroids & Transform Internet Regulation Overnight

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:09 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Intermediary Deputization & Section 230, Privacy

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

National Broadband Plan on Privacy Regulation: Another FCC Power-Grab

posted by Berin Szoka @ 2:12 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Broadband, Privacy

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Monday, March 15, 2010

A Busy Week for Tech Policy: Broadband Plan, Privacy Regulation, .COM Anniversary & FTC Authority

posted by Berin Szoka @ 6:50 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Broadband, Privacy

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

PFF & EFF File Joint Comments in FCC's "Empowering Parents & Protecting Children" NOI

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:49 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls

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Monday, February 22, 2010

The Hidden Benefactor: How Advertising Informs, Educates & Benefits Consumers

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:19 PM | Advertising & Marketing

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Don't Believe Web Traffic Numbers

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:27 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Generic Rant

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Antitrust Regulators Approve Microsoft/Yahoo! Search Partnership--Finally!

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:22 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy

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Privacy Innovation: Adobe Flash Supports Private Browsing & Deletes Flash Cookies

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:48 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Copyrights in Music Do NOT Exist Only "To Benefit [Matthew Yglesias]"

posted by Thomas Sydnor @ 10:17 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Capitalism, Copyright, E-commerce, Economics, IP, Innovation, Internet, Mass Media, Software

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

FCC's Genachowski Promises He's Not Out to Regulate Net, New Media

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:27 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Free Speech, Media Regulation, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism

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Friday, February 5, 2010

OSTWG, Child Protection, Privacy & Data Retention Mandates v. "Behavioral" Advertising

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:25 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, January 29, 2010

FCC's Privacy Inquiry for National Broadband Plan

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:49 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Summary of Remarks by Daniel Weitzner (NTIA) at FTC Privacy Workshop

posted by Adam Thierer @ 5:00 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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FTC Privacy Workshop: Summary of Harbour & Vladeck Remarks

posted by Adam Thierer @ 12:24 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

heading to FTC's next "Exploring Privacy" workshop at Berkeley Law School

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:08 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Internet Consolidation Can Be Good for Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:19 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Appleplectics, Googlephobia, Privacy

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chairman Leibowitz's Disconnect on Privacy Regulation & the Future of News

posted by Adam Thierer @ 7:28 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Mass Media, Media Regulation, Privacy

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Smart-Sign Technology: Retail Marketing Gets Sophisticated, But Will Regulation Kill It First?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 5:52 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Google & Openness: Allows Adblocking Extensions in Chrome

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:33 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Political Ads: Good for Publishers, Not Harmful to Advertising Overall

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:30 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech

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Friday, January 1, 2010

Are Consumers Mindless Sheep?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:05 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Privacy

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congresswoman, CALM Thyself! LA Times Eschews Eshoo Nanny State Bill to Regulate Ad Volume

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:25 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism

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Anti-Obesity Activists "Grease" Skids for Unconstitutional, Unnecessary Food Advertising Restrictions

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:39 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Online Advertising: The Great Debate, Part II (12/9, 10am Eastern)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:03 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Monday, December 7, 2009

Comments at FTC Workshop Panel on Privacy Polls & Surveys

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:11 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Privacy & Advertising Discussions in DC Dec. 7 & 9

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:17 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Apple Empowering Users to "Sell" Their Attention to Advertisers for "Free" Stuff

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:46 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Appleplectics, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism

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Privacy Hearing & Briefings This Week: More Non-sense about Non-harms of Online Advertising

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:43 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Privacy Trade-Offs: PFF Comments on December 7 FTC Privacy Workshop

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:53 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism, Privacy, Security

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Google's Privacy Dashboard: Another Major Step Forward in User Empowerment & Transparency

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:55 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Crovitz on FTC Blogger Rules

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:25 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

IAB's Brilliant Open Letter to the FTC on Blogger Rules

posted by Adam Thierer @ 12:59 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nanny State Says: "Shhhhh! That Commercial is Too Loud!"

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:36 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Media Regulation

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

What I Don't Get about the FTC's New Blogger Guidelines

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:42 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, The FTC

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Economic Importance of Ad Networks: "Market Makers," Not Parasites

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:58 PM | Advertising & Marketing

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Social Advertising Is Just Around the Corner: Why A Facebook Ad Network Would Benefit Users

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:54 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

FTC Announces Roundtables on "Evolving Consumer Privacy Issues"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:03 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Will Our Twitter Free Ride End or Will Targeted Advertising Subsidize Us?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 12:23 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, September 11, 2009

A First-Hand Perspective on Advertising to Kids, Acquisitiveness & Parental Responsibility

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:15 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech

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A Bing Skunkworks: a Solution to Microsoft's Innovator's Dilemma?

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:15 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Innovation

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Microsoft's Bing Leads in Bringing Social Functionality to Search

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:13 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Innovation

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Quid Pro Quo In Practice

posted by Adam Marcus @ 2:52 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Cutting the Video Cord, Internet TV

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Privacy War II: A Historical Comparison, Not a Moral Equation

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:27 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Privacy War II (Part 1): Attack of the Anti-Advertising Axis

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:43 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Mass Media, Privacy

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Cutting the Video Cord: US Open Streamed Online for "Free"

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:40 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Cable

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Privacy Elitists Launch All-Out Attack on Personalized Advertising Online

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:37 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Online Advertising: Privacy Zealot-Elitists v. Real Consumer Advocates

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:01 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism, Privacy

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Search Wars: With Jingles Like This, Microsoft's Bing Can't Lose!

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:41 AM | Advertising & Marketing

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Google v. Microsoft v. Apple v. Facebook: Nothing Obama Can't Sort Out Over a Beer

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:44 PM | Advertising & Marketing

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Yahoo!/Microsoft: Not Such a Bad Deal for Yahoo! After All?

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:42 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Search

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Monday, August 3, 2009

The War on "Free": Google Sued for Giving Away Google Maps

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:23 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Deadweight Costs of Antitrust Scrutiny: Distracted Management

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:12 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Search

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A Bargain Deal on Yahoo! for Microsoft & the Regime Uncertainty of Antitrust

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:54 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Search

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Our Forbes.com Op-Ed on Yahoo!-Microsoft Search Partnership

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:49 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Search

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Maine's COPPA 2.0 Law Actually an Indirect Age Verification Mandate

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:45 AM | Add category, Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls

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Monday, July 27, 2009

Maine Adopts COPPA 2.0 Law Heavily Restricting Marketing to Kids

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:22 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Privacy

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Zittrain's Pessimistic Predictions and Problematic Prescriptions for the Net

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:52 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Books & Book Reviews, Capitalism, Googlephobia, Googlephobia, Innovation, Internet, Interoperability, Mass Media, Net Neutrality, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism, Privacy, Search

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Twitter Goes Ad-Supported, Surprising No One

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:34 AM | Advertising & Marketing

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Cringely's Contradictory Thinking on Microsoft-Google Wars

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:27 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Antitrust & Competition Policy, Economics, Innovation, Search

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

New Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:09 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Ad-Supported Internet: The Musical (Web Site Story)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:08 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Monday, June 29, 2009

A Posterboy for Advertising's Pro-Consumer Quid Pro Quo

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:07 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Facebook v. Google v. the Techno-Aquarians

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:42 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Friday, June 26, 2009

PFF Capitol Hill Briefing: Online Advertising Regulation (July 10)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:28 AM | Advertising & Marketing

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There is No Free Lunch! No Advertising, No Media

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:17 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Some Random Thoughts on "Sponsored Blogging"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:25 AM | Advertising & Marketing, The FTC

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Behavioral Advertising Industry Practices Hearing: Some Issues that Need to be Discussed

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:29 AM | Advertising & Marketing, E-commerce, Free Speech

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Friday, June 5, 2009

First Amendment Protection of Search Algorithms as Editorial Discretion

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:23 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Googlephobia, Internet, Search

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

COPPA 2.0: The New Battle over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:38 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Free Speech, Privacy

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Nerd Law vs. Real Law

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:48 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Generic Rant, Innovation, Internet

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Pepsi Challenge 2.0, Reputational Incentives & Genericide as a Check on Google's Brand Power

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:59 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Googlephobia, Privacy, Trademark

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

New Heights in Googlephobia: "A Delinquent, Sociopathic Parasite"?

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:17 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Googlephobia, Privacy

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Google, CDT, Online Advertising & Preserving Persistent User Choice Across Ad Networks Through Plug-ins

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:35 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Google's Ad Preference Manager: One Small Step for Google, One Giant Leap for Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:10 PM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mixed Feelings about Latest Facebook Privacy Fiasco

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:13 AM | Advertising & Marketing, Privacy

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Search Advertising Dropped 8% in 2008: Why Users Should Care

posted by Berin Szoka @ 2:30 PM | Advertising & Marketing

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