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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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Sunday, May 16, 2010

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

Adam Thierer & I offered our initial thoughts upon first reading the discussion draft of the privacy bill introduced by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) & Cliff Stearns (R-FL). In PFF's latest TechCast, I sat down to discuss the bill and my concerns about it with PFF's VP for Communications, Mike Wendy:

Stay tuned for more from us on this. PFF plans to file written comments, as solicited by the bill's authors, by June 4. For more on this, check out our comments to the FTC last December on these issues.

Subscribe now to PFF's TechCast podcast (generally 5-8 minutes) by RSS or through iTunes!

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

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

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

I'm testifying this morning before the Senate Commerce Committee's Consumer Protection Subcommittee on Examining Children's Privacy: New Technologies and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act at 10 am in 253 Russell. I offered an overview of my testimony in a PFF TechCast interview yesterday.

MP3 file: PFF TechCast #4 - Senate COPPA testimony of Berin Szoka

My pre-scripted oral testimony (PDF) follows below, but you can download my somewhat longer written testimony here, which offers an overview of our past work on this subject at PFF, particularly the paper Adam Thierer and I published last summer COPPA 2.0: The New Battle over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech.

Continue reading 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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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

PFF TechCast #3: Media Vouchers & Postal Subsidies as Media Reinvention Tools

In this latest PFF TechCast, Berin Szoka and I discuss the two latest installments in our ongoing "Wrong Way to Reinvent Media" series. These two recent installments dealt with "media vouchers" and expanded postal subsidies as methods of assisting struggling media enterprises or promoting more hard news. In this 7-minute podcast, PFF's press director Mike Wendy chats with us about these proposals and we argue that they both raise a variety of practical and principled concerns that weigh against their adoption by policymakers.

MP3 file: PFF TechCast #3 - Media Vouchers & Postal Subsidies (4/27/2010)

posted by Adam Thierer @ 6:43 PM | Mass Media, Media Regulation, PFF Podcasts, The News Frontier

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Monday, April 5, 2010

PFF TechCast #2: "Saving the Media" through Broadcast Spectrum Taxes

posted by Mike Wendy @ 2:44 PM | PFF Podcasts

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

PFF TechCast #1: Proposals to Have Government "Save Media"

PFF recently started a new "TechCast" podcast series and the topic for one of our first episodes was about the new series of essays that we have coming out about "The Wrong Way to Reinvent Media." In this series, we're examining proposals that would have the government play a greater role in sustaining struggling media enterprises, "saving journalism," or promoting more "public interest" content. We're concerned about the prospect of central planning for media or a "public option" for the press.

Berin Szoka and I recently sat down with PFF's press director Mike Wendy to chat about our concerns in this brief 5-minute podast:

MP3 file: PFF TechCast #1 - Overview of Wrong Way to Reinvent Media Series (3-28-2010)

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:35 PM | Mass Media, Media Regulation, PFF Podcasts, The News Frontier

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Transcript of 7/27 PFF Event on Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech

On July 27th, The Progress & Freedom Foundation hosted a Capitol Hill panel discussion entitled "Online Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech: An Overview of Challenges in Congress & the States." The event featured remarks from:


  • Parry Aftab, Executive Director, WiredSafety.org

  • Todd Haiken, Senior Manager of Policy, Common Sense Media

  • Jim Halpert, Partner, DLA Piper

  • Berin Szoka, Senior Fellow, The Progress & Freedom Foundation


We've just released the transcript of the event, which I have also pasted down below the fold in a Scribd document reader. Also, the audio for this event can be heard by clicking below:

Download mp3

Here is the full event description:

Online child safety, privacy, and free speech remain hotly debated issues at both the federal and state level. Bills introduced in Congress to address cyberbullying concerns propose either educational initiatives or a criminalization approach. Access to objectionable content also remains a concern and a new, government-mandated task force is looking into those issues. Meanwhile, state officials, including many state attorneys general, continue to explore age verification mandates for social networking sites and some have considered building on the federal Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to expand "parental notification" mandates. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently announced an expedited review of COPPA to see if it is keeping up with new developments. The FTC is also exploring child safety in virtual worlds. New concerns about "sexting," or the sending of sexual explicit images over mobile devices, has also raised new concerns led some lawmakers to ponder penalties.

How serious are these concerns? Is legislation or regulation needed to address them? What free speech issues are at stake? Should Congress take the lead or leave it to the States to experiment with different models? These and other issues were discussed by a panel of leading experts in the field of online safety and privacy policy.

Continue reading Transcript of 7/27 PFF Event on Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech . . .

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:49 PM | Events, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, PFF Podcasts

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  PFF Event Recap: Nuts & Bolts of Online Privacy, Advertising, Notice & Choice
PFF TechCast #5: Concerns about the Boucher-Stearns Privacy Bill
PFF TechCast #4: Senate Testimony on the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)
PFF TechCast #3: Media Vouchers & Postal Subsidies as Media Reinvention Tools
PFF TechCast #2: "Saving the Media" through Broadcast Spectrum Taxes
PFF TechCast #1: Proposals to Have Government "Save Media"
Transcript of 7/27 PFF Event on Child Safety, Privacy, and Free Speech
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