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With the DMA announcing their new one million dollar PR campaign “Data-Driven Marketing Institute,” the question of privacy and rules around customer data has become a greater focus of some of the panels this morning. Jordon Cohen of Moveable Ink, brought up the headline "Target knows a teenage girl is pregnant before her own father does" and posed the question: have we finally gone too far?
For those of you who didn't read this headline in February, an irate father charged into a Target store demanding they stop targeting his teenage daughter with emails full of baby products because she wasn't pregnant. It turns out Target was right, and the father was wrong. She was pregnant and her shift in product purchase at Target made the marketers behind the brand know of her news before any of the world may have known.
Jason Scoggins of Freshpair stressed that targeting has to go through a "creep" filter and in the case of the Target example, they went too far.
For more than a decade, companies in the United States operating websites that collect data from children have been required to comply with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).
At the time COPPA was implemented, the internet ecosystem was far less mature, and the law didn't cover all of the parties that today frequently collect data from children. So yesterday, the FTC published a proposal (PDF) with the intent of modifying COPPA to ensure that parties not currently governed by COPPA's rules are covered.
For large organizations like the BBC, ignoring the recently-enacted EU cookie law probably isn't a viable option. Despite the headaches associated with implementing a solution, the threat of legal actions and fines probably outweighs the costs of compliance.
It's a different story for entrepreneurs and owners of small businesses, some of whom indicated a willingness to flout the law until given a reason to reconsider.
If ibuprofen sales are up in the EU this year, it might have something to do with the nightmare known as the EU cookie law.
For major companies operating in affected countries, the solution to the problem has been, well, to find a solution to the problem. And for good reason: with the possibility of enforcement action, few businesses can afford not to address the law.
But apparently the EU itself can't be bothered with complying with its own rules.
Yesterday, United States President Barack Obama signed into law the JOBS Act, which may be the most significant update to securities regulations since Sarbanes–Oxley was passed in 2002.
One portion of the new law, the CROWDFUND Act, has been creating a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley for months, as it will make it legal for startups the ability to raise money in small chunks from large numbers of non-accredited investors.
If you were to download a copy of a copyrighted book through BitTorrent, you might be accused of stealing. And as piracy becomes a larger problem for publishers, you might even find yourself in court facing a lawsuit.
But there's good news: if you're the government, you don't have anything to worry about.
Parts of the internet will go black tomorrow. From Wikipedia and Reddit to the Cheezburger network and Major League Gaming, numerous highly-trafficked web properties say they'll shut down to protest the SOPA legislation that would make the internet far less free in the name of fighting piracy.
Even Google is going to be making a statement using its homepage.
The blackouts are going on despite the fact that SOPA is effectively dead -- for the time being.
In the age of the internet, every individual may have their own personal printing press, but that doesn't mean that the same legal protections afforded to journalists are always available to bloggers.
Something that Crystal Cox, an Oregon-based blogger who is facing a $2.5m judgment for publishing information an investment firm alleged was defamatory, knows all too well.
The internet has changed the lives of billions of individuals and many of those individuals are children.
From services that provide educational tools to services that make it easier for children to interact with relatives far away, it's no surprise that the internet and internet-connected devices are used prolifically by younger and younger children today.
At the same time, the internet can be a dangerous place for kids. So it's no surprise that there are laws designed to protect children on the internet. But do some of those laws actually do the opposite?
Wondering how your business will address the new law that requires users to opt in to cookies? There's good news: you can procrastinate.
That's because the ICO, perhaps facing the reality that the new law is fatally flawed, has decided to give everyone amnesty (as the Telegraph calls it) for violating the law over the course of the next year.
Enforcing copyright online has proven to be quite difficult. More than a decade after Napster brought the subject of digital piracy into the mainstream, content owners are still struggling to protect their rights on the internet. They have finally learned one thing though: suing grandmothers (and dead grandmothers) doesn't work.
So what are content owners doing? It appears they are turning their attention to a more receptive audience: politicians.
On Wednesday, an Italian court convicted three Google executives. Their crime? Google failed, in the eyes of the prosecutor, to pull down a video uploaded to Google Video.
The video, which showed several students in Turin bullying a classmate with Autism, resulted in 10 months of community service for the uploader. But because Google 'allowed' the video to be uploaded in the first place, an Italian prosecutor chose to charge four Google executives for criminal defamation and the violation of Italian privacy laws.