Regulating Data Brokers

The recent hacks into ChoicePoint’s and Lexis’ personal information databases has led to calls for further regulation of data brokers. While I don’t want to minimize the consequences of these hacks, including the severe consequences of identity theft, limiting data…

SPY Act Passes House Committee

The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the SPY Act, sending it to the House floor. The article illustrates continuing definitional problems with the bill. Category: Product #: Regular price:$ (Sale ends !) Available from: Condition: Good ! Order now!…

iDownload’s Latest Letters

iDownload backs off of its legal threats to bloggers who characterized its software as spyware. If they were going to backpedal like this, why bare their fangs in the first place? Category: Product #: Regular price:$ (Sale ends !) Available…

Google AutoLink and Copyright Law–A Fuller Explanation

There’s been a lot of discussion about Google’s AutoLink tool, including some questions about why I think it might violate copyright law. I can understand why this is confusing, particularly because the AutoLink tool raises two discrete questions. First, what…

Does Google Cloak?

Threadwatch has a story alleging that Google uses cloaking. If true, this would be ironic because Google bans cloaking. However, I’d like to hear Google’s side to this story before assuming it’s true. Also, I think it’s easy to overreact…

Student Convicted for File Downloading

Parvin Dhaliwal convicted of a state crime for downloading movies. I believe the article is correct that this is the first state prosecution, although I was able to find a couple of federal prosecutions for merely downloading items from the…

FTC Enforcement Action for Deficient Security Practices

The FTC has settled a charge against Nationwide Mortgage Group, Inc., a mortgage company, for failing to comply with the security requirements under the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. FTC enforcement actions for poor security practices are relatively rare, so this…

FTC Report on Spyware

The FTC has released a report entitled “Monitoring Software on Your PC: Spyware, Adware, and Other Software” as a follow up to its April 2004 workshop. I need to read through it, but it looks like a typical FTC response:…

Edelman on P2P Disclosures

Ben Edelman released a report entitled “Comparison of Unwanted Software Installed by P2P Programs.” The report evidences Ben’s typical skill and thoroughness, and it’s a worthy read. However, the report struggles with the appropriate standards for measuring a workable disclosure…

Rivlin on eBay Fee Increases

Gary Rivlin writes a good in-depth article on the seller community’s response to eBay’s fee increases. The article articulates eBay’s rationales—eBay wanted to restore some balance in the use of certain tools, so price increases were the ways to drive…