laws

US marketers can no longer self-regulate

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.

FTC seeks to expand restrictions on data collection from children

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.

As European Commission sues five countries, is the cookie law starting to crumble?

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.

Even the EU can’t comply with its own cookie law

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.

The CROWDFUND Act: everything you need to know

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.

SOPA blackouts to go on, even if bill is dead (for now)

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.

Court: blogger isn’t a journalist, owes $2.5m

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.

To save the children, does COPPA need to die?

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?

ICO: take an extra year to chew on new cookie law

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.