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Friday, August 6, 2010

Join Us for pii2010 "Privacy Identity Innovation 2010" Conference in Seattle 8/17-19!

If you're as fascinated as I am by the interplay of privacy, identity and innovation, I hope to see you at the pii2010 conference in Seattle, August 17-19! Organized by the folks who've put on the top-notch Tech Policy Summit since 2003, and co-sponsored by The Progress & Freedom Foundation (among others), this event offers a truly unique perspective on privacy--not just another policy food fight, but a true roll-up-our-sleeves, in-depth seminar on what to do about privacy, especially through technological innovation.

I'll be on the "pii & Digital Advertising: Navigating the Regulatory Landscape" panel on the 18th at 10am, giving my usual talk about the need to be careful about the trade-offs inherent in privacy regulation. Check out the detailed agenda here.

TLFers Larry Downes and Carl Gipson will also be attending, so we're planning a long-overdue "Alcohol Liberation Front" happy hour after the conference on August 18--details to be announced soon.

Check out the discussion around the #pii2010 hashtag on Twitter. And register today! Mid-August is supposed to be paradise in Seattle, and the week of the conference also happens to be Seattle GeekWeek, so there are a bunch of other events worth checking out in town before and after the pii2010 conference.

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:38 AM | Privacy

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Livetweeting Another Senate Online Privacy Hearing Today (2pm EST)

The Senate Commerce Committee will hold yet another hearing today (7/27/10) at 2pm Eastern with two panels:


  • Witness Panel 1

    • FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz

    • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski



  • Witness Panel 2

    • Guy "Bud" Tribble, Apple's VP for Software Technology

    • Bret Taylor, Facebook CTO

    • Alma Whitten, Google's Privacy Engineering Lead

    • Jim Harper, Cato Institute

    • Dorothy Atwood, AT&T's Senior Vice President, Public Policy & Chief Privacy Officer

    • Prof. Joe Turow, University of Pennsylvania




Join me to watch the livecast. I'll be livetweeting on the #Privacy hashtag.

I summed up most of my thoughts on the online privacy issue in my written testimony to the FTC's privacy roundtable last fall. Also check out my paper Privacy Polls v. Real-World Trade-Offs, which explains why Prof. Turow's polls can't really show us what choices consumers would make if actually presented with the trade-off between locking down on the use of their data and the content and services supported by advertising that relies on that data for its value.

posted by Berin Szoka @ 1:39 PM | Privacy

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

FTC Enforcement of Corporate Promises & the Path of Privacy Law

Adam and I have been pretty hard on the FTC's current leadership for pushing to dramatically expand regulation of online data use with little thought to the impact on ad-supported media, while in the next breath opening the door to dramatic expansion of direct government support of media, and all the while seeking sweeping new regulatory powers from Congress.

After all that complaining (and bashing their Soviet Realist-style statue, "Man Controlling Trade"), you might think we had it in for the agency. But as I've said repeatedly, we're actually big fans of the FTC's core consumer protection mission: holding companies to their promises. (Indeed, we want to make sure they stay focused on that mission, and have the staff, resources and technological tools to pursue it effectively--which might mean, as I've pointed out, increased funding rather than increased powers.) We've also repeatedly praised the FTC's efforts to educate kids, parents, and Internet users in general about things like online privacy, advertising, spyware, user empowerment tools, online scams, etc.

But I don't want to be accused of being only a fair-weather friend of the agency. So I wanted to point out a particularly good concrete example of the FTC doing what we talk about in the abstract: holding companies to their promises.  Grant Gross notes that the FTC sent a stern letter earlier this month to the company that is seeking to buy the subscriber info and photos and other assets of the now-defunct XY Magazine, which served primarily gay U.S. teens, warning them that the FTC would hold them to the terms of the privacy policy under which XY collected information from its subscribers.

This is a great example of how the FTC can effectively use its existing authority to protect consumers against clear harms involved in the disclosure of truly sensitive data, sometimes even prophylactically--in this case, outing around 100,000 gay youths and young adults--collected by companies that make unambiguous promises to protect users' data. This incident also illustrates how privacy law can evolve in an organic fashion from a growing body of such well-justified preemptive warnings, enforcement actions brought against truly bad actors, and ultimately court decisions that decide whether the FTC has properly weighed the interests at stake. In other words, just because we don't have a privacy code enforced by a Data Protection Authority as in Europe doesn't mean our legal system doesn't protect privacy!

Continue reading FTC Enforcement of Corporate Promises & the Path of Privacy Law . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:51 AM | Privacy

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Friday, July 9, 2010

Google Street View/Wi-Fi Privacy Technopanic Continues but Real Cybersecurity Begins at Home

Congressmen working on national intelligence and homeland security either don't know how to secure their own home Wi-Fi networks (it's easy!) or don't understand why they should bother. If you live outside the Beltway, you might think the response to this problem would be to redouble efforts to educate everyone about the importance of personal responsibility for data security, starting with Congressmen and their staffs. But of course those who live inside the Beltway know that the solution isn't education or self-help but... you guessed it... to excoriate Google for spying on members of Congress (and bigger government, of course)!

Consumer Watchdog (which doesn't actually claim any consumers as members) held a press conference this morning about their latest anti-Google stunt, announced last night on their "Inside Google" blog: CWD drove by five Congressmen's houses in the DC area last week looking for unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. At Jane Harman's (D-CA) home, they found two unencrypted networks named "Harmanmbr" and "harmantheater" that suggest the networks are Harman's. So they sent Harman a letter demanding that she hold hearings on Google's collection of Wi-Fi data, charging Google with "WiSpying." This is a classic technopanic and the most craven, cynical kind of tech politics--dressed in the "consumer" mantle.

The Wi-Fi/Street View Controversy


Rewind to mid-May, when Google voluntarily disclosed that the cars it used to build a photographic library of what's visible from public streets for Google Maps Street View had been unintentionally collecting small amounts of information from unencrypted Wi-Fi hotspots like Harman's. These hotspots can be accessed by anyone who might drive or walk by with a Wi-Fi device--thus potentially exposing data sent over those networks between, say, a laptop in the kitchen, and the wireless router plugged into the cable modem.

Google's Street View allows you to virtually walk down any public street and check out the neighborhood

Continue reading Google Street View/Wi-Fi Privacy Technopanic Continues but Real Cybersecurity Begins at Home . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 8:42 AM | Privacy, Security

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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

Troubling COPPA Filing by Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media (CSM) is a media "watchdog" group that provides a terrifically useful service to the public through independent reviews of popular media content (movies, music, TV, games, and more). As a parent, I find their service indispensable and, as a policy analyst, I have praised their rating system and their media literacy / digital citizenship programs again and again, including numerous endorsements in my special report on Parental Controls & Online Child Protection and other testimony and filings before Congress and federal regulatory agencies.

Thus, being such a big fan of CSM, I was quite dismayed to see the comments they just submitted to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) as part of the agency's review of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). They advocate not just expanded educational efforts, which are great, but also expanding COPPA's age scope to cover all kids under 18 as well as opt-in mandates for the collection and use of any "personal information" or "behavioral marketing." For all the background on the law and the FTC's resulting COPPA rule, see this beefy paper Berin Szoka and I authored last year and this testimony and follow-up submission Berin did for the Senate Commerce Committee. And then read the joint submission made by PFF, CDT, and EFF in the same FTC proceeding that CSM just filed in.

Sadly, it's clear to me that Common Sense Media didn't take anything we warned about in those papers or filings seriously--or perhaps that they just didn't bother to read them very carefully, if at all. Their filing is a classic example of good intentions gone wrong. I understand that they want to take additional steps to protect children online, but they completely ignore the practical realities of COPPA expansion and its associated trade-offs:

Continue reading Troubling COPPA Filing by Common Sense Media . . .

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:10 PM | Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Friday, June 11, 2010

TechCast #6: OSTWG Report "Youth Safety on a Living Internet"

In PFF TechCast #6, Adam Thierer provides an excellent overview of an important new report from NTIA's Online Safety & Technology Working Group, entitled "Youth Safety on a Living Internet."

(By the way, an additional resource to both the TechCast and the OSTWG report is PFF's 4th edition of Parental Control & Online Child Protection.)

posted by Mike Wendy @ 3:41 PM | Capitol Hill, Education, PFF, Privacy

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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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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Follow-up on April Senate COPPA Hearing

On April 29, I testified before the Senate Commerce Committee's Consumer Protection Subcommittee on Examining Children's Privacy: New Technologies and the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Today, I filed 23 pages of responses to questions for the Congressional Record from Subcommittee Chairman Mark Pryor (D-AR), touching on many of the concerns and issues Adam Thierer and I developed in our May 2009 paper, COPPA 2.0: The New Battle over Privacy, Age Verification, Online Safety & Free Speech.

At the April hearing, Senators asked whether COPPA could be improved. Today, as in my April oral and written testimony, I again urged lawmakers to "tread carefully" because COPPA, as implemented, basically works. I explained why COPPA's technological neutrality and flexibility should allow the FTC to keep pace with technological convergence and change without the need for legislative changes. But expanding the statute beyond its limited purposes, especially to cover adolescents under 18, could raise serious constitutional questions about the First Amendment rights of adults as well as older teens and site and service operators, and also have unintended consequences for the health of online content and services without necessarily significantly increasing the online privacy and safety of children.

The Committee's follow-up questions also inquired about COPPA's implementation, the subject of today's FTC Roundtable. I noted that COPPA implementation has gone reasonably well, meeting its primary goal of enhancing parental involvement in children's online activities, but that implementation has come at a price, since the costs of obtaining verifiable parental consent and otherwise complying with COPPA have, on the one hand, discouraged site and service operators from allowing children on their sites or offering child-oriented content, and, on the other hand, raised costs for child-oriented sites. The FTC could do more to lower compliance costs for website operators, thus allowing achievement of COPPA's goals at a lower cost for parents and kids in foregone content and services.

Finally, I raised concerns about the FTC's seeming invitation for changes to the COPPA statute itself. As a general matter, regulatory agencies should not be in the business of re-assessing the adequacy of their own powers, since the natural impulse of all bureaucracy is to grow. Though the agency has done a yeoman's job of implementing COPPA, ultimately it is the responsibility of Congress, not the FTC, to make decisions about modifying the statute.

Continue reading Follow-up on April Senate COPPA Hearing . . .

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:53 PM | 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

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

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Government Transparency & Smarter Regulation through Standardized Data Use

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:57 PM | Privacy, e-Government & Transparency

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

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

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First Amendment Meddling Is Against the Public Interest

posted by Mike Wendy @ 9:38 AM | Capitol Hill, Free Speech, Mass Media, Media Regulation, Privacy, Regulation, The FCC, The FTC

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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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Thursday, May 6, 2010

NPR Interview on FCC's Third Way

posted by Mike Wendy @ 3:31 PM | Antitrust & Competition Policy, Broadband, Capitol Hill, Communications, Cyber-Security, DACA, Internet, Net Neutrality, Neutrality, Privacy, Security, The FCC

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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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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 21: State of the Mobile Net & Growing Up Mobile Seminar in DC

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:10 AM | Events, Free Speech, 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

Longing for Tax Day Simplicity

posted by Mike Wendy @ 4:51 PM | Capitol Hill, E-commerce, Generic Rant, Privacy, State Policy, Taxes

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

GetUnvarnished.com: Should We Allow User Feedback about Personal Reputation?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 6:24 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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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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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The FTC Warns Businesses of "Widespread" Inadvertent File-Sharing: The Costs of File-Sharing Piracy Just Keep on Increasing.

posted by Thomas Sydnor @ 10:43 AM | Copyright, IP, Internet, Privacy, Security, The FTC

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Friday, February 19, 2010

"Publication Privacy" is Thriving: Facebook, Google Buzz & the Future of Sharing

posted by Berin Szoka @ 9:19 AM | Privacy

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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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Friday, February 12, 2010

Google Buzz is No "Privacy Nightmare" (Unless You're a Privacy Paternalist)

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:13 AM | Privacy

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Buzz: Encouraging Privacy by Design v. Privacy Paternalism

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:11 AM | Free Speech, Privacy

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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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Friday, January 15, 2010

Zuckerberg, Facebook & the Privacy Paradox

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:40 PM | 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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Friday, January 1, 2010

Are Consumers Mindless Sheep?

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

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Facebook Privacy Controls Change & EPIC's FTC Complaint

posted by Berin Szoka @ 4:18 PM | Privacy

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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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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The "Problem of Proportionality" in Debates about Online Privacy and Child Safety

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:45 PM | Free Speech, Generic Rant, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Sunday, November 15, 2009

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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Friday, November 6, 2009

Privacy Solutions Part 7: How Anonymizers Can Empower Privacy-Sensitive Users

posted by Adam Marcus @ 11:34 AM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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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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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Do Americans Really Want "Net Neutrality" Regulation?

posted by Berin Szoka @ 7:40 AM | Broadband, Neutrality, Privacy

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Courts Confront Changing Attitudes towards Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 5:30 PM | Privacy, Security

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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

WordPress Worm: Cyber-Security Begins at Home

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:18 PM | Cyber-Security, Privacy

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

"Google Bigotry," Corporate-Bashing & Human Envy

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:45 PM | Antitrust & Competition Policy, Googlephobia, Privacy

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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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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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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What Unites Advocates of Speech Controls & Privacy Regulation?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:07 PM | Free Speech, Mass Media, Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism, Privacy

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Privacy Solutions Series: Part 6 - Overview, Encryption & Anonymization

posted by Adam Marcus @ 3:28 PM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions, Regulation

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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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Friday, July 17, 2009

Privacy Solutions (Part 5): CCleaner

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:13 PM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Upcoming July 27th Event on Online Safety, Privacy & Free Speech

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:31 AM | Events, Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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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

Facebook, Twitter, Online Identity Integration & the Future of Anonymity

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:09 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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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

There is No Free Lunch! No Advertising, No Media

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

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Costs of SSL Encryption for Webmail & Other Cloud Services

posted by Berin Szoka @ 6:49 PM | Philosophy / Cyber-Libertarianism, Privacy

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Thomas Sowell on the Model that Drives Elitist Ideological Crusades

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:15 PM | Books & Book Reviews, Free Speech, Generic Rant, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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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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Privacy as 'a Modern Invention'

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:08 PM | Books & Book Reviews, Privacy

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Informed P2P User Act

posted by Amy Smorodin @ 1:36 PM | Capitol Hill, Privacy, Software

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Schneier on Data Collection and "Deception"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:13 PM | Privacy

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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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Thursday, March 26, 2009

An Interesting P2P Usage Study from ISU's Digital Citizen Project

posted by Thomas Sydnor @ 5:19 PM | IP, Internet, Privacy, The FCC

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Privacy Solutions Series: Part 4 - Firefox Privacy Features

posted by Adam Marcus @ 12:31 PM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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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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Friday, March 6, 2009

Privacy Solutions Series: Part 3 - Internet Explorer Privacy Features

posted by Adam Marcus @ 9:50 AM | Internet, Ongoing Series, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy, Privacy Solutions, Software

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Sunday, March 1, 2009

Another Reminder Why Age Verification Mandates Would Be a Bad Idea

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:08 PM | Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Privacy Trade-offs: Why We Don't Really Care about Our Privacy as Much as We Say

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:35 PM | 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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Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Simple Privacy Policies, Free Internet Services, and "Adequate Notice"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:34 PM | Privacy

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Saturday, February 7, 2009

Google's Latitude and Privacy Concerns

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:00 PM | Privacy

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Monday, February 2, 2009

Book Review: Planet Google by Randall Stross

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:21 PM | Antitrust & Competition Policy, Books & Book Reviews, Privacy

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The "GPS Tax," e-Health & the Privacy Implications of Tech Upgrades for Government Monopolies

posted by Berin Szoka @ 10:47 PM | Privacy

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Latest Lichtman podcast on privacy, Sec. 230, online liability

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:34 PM | Free Speech, Non-PFF Podcasts, Privacy

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Googlephobia: Part 6 - The Left Begins to Turn on Google

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:00 PM | Net Neutrality, Privacy

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Bogus Privacy Fears over Google Flu Trends

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:40 AM | Privacy

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Book Review: Solove's Understanding Privacy

posted by Adam Thierer @ 7:46 PM | Books & Book Reviews, Privacy

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

A Wide Diversity of Consumer Attitudes about Online Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 6:07 PM | Internet, Privacy

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Friday, October 24, 2008

PFF Launches Center for Internet Freedom

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:50 AM | E-commerce, Internet, Privacy, Think Tanks

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Friday, October 10, 2008

book review: Palfrey & Gasser's "Born Digital"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 4:23 PM | Books & Book Reviews, Free Speech, Generic Rant, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Age Verification Debate Continues; Schools Now at Center of Discussion

posted by Adam Thierer @ 2:07 PM | Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Online Advertising & User Privacy: Principles to Guide the Debate

posted by Berin Szoka @ 12:17 PM | Internet, Privacy

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Nuts and Bolts: Everything You Wanted To Know About Cookies But Were Afraid To Ask

posted by Adam Marcus @ 3:38 PM | E-commerce, Economics, Internet, Privacy

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Lost Laptop Follies, Part 8: ATF Loses Laptops... and Guns!

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:48 AM | Generic Rant, Privacy

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Googlephobia: Part 5 - Google at Ten & Its Competition

posted by Berin Szoka @ 3:32 PM | Internet, Privacy

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Googlephobia: The Series

posted by Berin Szoka @ 3:14 PM | Internet, Privacy

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Monday, September 8, 2008

Privacy Solutions Series: Part 2 - Adblock Plus

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:04 PM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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Friday, September 5, 2008

Privacy Solutions Series: Part 1 - Introduction

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:23 AM | Privacy, Privacy Solutions

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Under-Appreciated Existing Legal Remedies for Trolling, Defamation and Other "Malwebolent" Invasions of Privacy

posted by Berin Szoka @ 11:45 AM | Internet, Privacy

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

great piece on online behavioral marketing and privacy

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:16 PM | Privacy

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Lost Laptop Follies, Part 7: NIH Loses Health Records

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:39 AM | Privacy

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

UK's "Unique Learner Number"

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:14 PM | Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Today’s MySpace-AG Agreement

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:41 PM | Free Speech, Online Safety & Parental Controls, Privacy

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Race and Privacy in Europe

posted by Solveig Singleton @ 11:56 AM | Privacy

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lost Laptop Follies, Part 6: DOE Missing 1,400 Laptops

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:26 PM | Generic Rant, Privacy

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Transcript of PFF Age Verification (3/23) event

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:50 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Second Life to Adopt Age Verification

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:30 AM | Free Speech, Mass Media, Privacy

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Monday, May 7, 2007

New York Times article on Age Verification for Social Networking Sites

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:14 AM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Lost Laptop Follies, Part 5

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:35 AM | Privacy

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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Privacy and the Google-DoubleClick acquisition

posted by Tom Lenard @ 12:37 PM | Privacy

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Jeff Schmidt on Age Verification and Online Child Safety

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:11 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Debunking Myths about Social Networking

posted by Adam Thierer @ 1:42 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Monday, March 19, 2007

New PFF Study on Age Verification for Social Networking Sites

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:45 AM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Monday, February 12, 2007

Lost Laptop Follies, Part 4

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:52 PM | Privacy, Privacy

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Are Americans Too Paranoid about Their Privacy?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:10 AM | Privacy

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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Privacy. If it Matters so Much, Why Not Do Proper Polls?

posted by Solveig Singleton @ 11:24 AM | Privacy

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Friday, November 3, 2006

Lost Laptop Follies, Part 3

posted by Adam Thierer @ 11:58 AM | Privacy

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Another Reason to Be Wary of Age Verification & Data Retention Mandates

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:42 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Another Call for Data Retention Mandates

posted by Adam Thierer @ 3:57 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Thursday, October 5, 2006

Potential California Regulation of Search Engines?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 10:55 AM | Privacy

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Lost Laptop Legislation Introduced

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:52 AM | Generic Rant, Privacy

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Friday, September 22, 2006

How Does Government Lose So Many Laptops?

posted by Adam Thierer @ 8:50 AM | Generic Rant, Privacy

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Wednesday, August 9, 2006

AOL, Search Records and Privacy

posted by Patrick Ross @ 4:55 PM | Free Speech, Privacy

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Data Protection Looms: What Price Preemption?

posted by Solveig Singleton @ 11:37 AM | Capitol Hill, E-commerce, Privacy, Privacy

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

A Paranoid Parent Ponders GPS Tracking His Kids

posted by Adam Thierer @ 9:25 AM | Generic Rant, Mass Media, Privacy

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Friday, February 24, 2006

FTC Gets Busy on CardSystems

posted by Patrick Ross @ 11:22 AM | E-commerce, Privacy, The FTC

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

XOXO Is Now Spelled RFID?

posted by @ 9:03 AM | Privacy

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

ChoicePoint Pays the Price

posted by Patrick Ross @ 3:14 PM | Capitol Hill, E-commerce, Privacy, The FTC

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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Breach Notification - It Is Never Pretty

posted by @ 3:42 PM | Privacy

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Monday, November 14, 2005

New Blood at Commerce

posted by Patrick Ross @ 10:09 AM | Capitol Hill, General, Innovation, Internet, Interoperability, Privacy

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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Props?

posted by Amy Smorodin @ 12:44 PM | Privacy

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

RFID - Starting to Come Around

posted by Amy Smorodin @ 4:48 PM | Privacy

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Friday, August 19, 2005

Take it slow on identity-theft laws

posted by Tom Lenard @ 10:03 AM | Privacy

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Thursday, December 23, 2004

RFID: The Supply Chain Gift of Choice

posted by @ 1:13 PM | Privacy

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Friday, December 10, 2004

Phishing update

posted by Ray Gifford @ 3:11 PM | E-commerce, Privacy

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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Privacy: Tu Quoque

posted by Ray Gifford @ 7:43 PM | Privacy

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