Legal & Privacy
The Obama administration released its "Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights" for web consumers on Feb. 23, aimed at giving people more control over how their personal information is collected and used online.
The Federal Trade Commission is set to subpoena Google to ensure either Eric Schmidt or Larry Page, the company's two top executives, appears before a commission investigating whether the company has abused its position in the search marketing space, according to The Wall Street Journal.
PayPal filed a civil suit against Google and two Google executives on May 26 over the latter company's newly revealed mobile payment product. The suit alleges that Google, and two former PayPal executives now working at the Mountain View, Calif.-based company, misappropriated trade secrets and breached their contracts to develop the Google Wallet mobile application.
The Obama administration urged Congress to create federal legislation that would allow consumers new online privacy rights and give the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement authority, federal officials told a Senate committee on March 16. Lawrence Strickling, an assistant secretary within the Commerce Department, said the White House "recommends that legislation set forth baseline consumer data privacy protections - that is a consumer 'privacy bill of rights.'"
The threat of federal consumer privacy regulation has spurred marketers to take online privacy into their own hands.
Industry experts said the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, passed in December, will protect some consumers by curbing dishonest practices, but it won't affect most ethical marketers.
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Colorado law that required out-of-state online retailers to notify the state of residents' purchases in order to collect sales tax from individual shoppers. The law also required multichannel retailers to notify consumers what tax they owed the state.
The Federal Trade Commission recently released a framework for balancing consumer privacy and innovation online, which includes a "Do-Not-Track" mechanism.
"It is not about adapting and accepting change anymore. It is about aggressively seeking it, being first to apply it, and then seek it again."
Marketers reacted with weariness to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposal to implement an online "Do-Not-Track" option that would allow consumers to opt out of all third-party tracking and behaviorally-targeted advertising.
Financial institutions are emphasizing transparency and choice, and trying to learn more about their customers, increase loyalty, and better target their offers in response to newly enacted federal financial regulations.
An investigation by Canada's Privacy Commissioner found that Google violated Canadian privacy laws when one of its Street Car engineers mistakenly collected data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks.
Keeping data quality at a high level is easier said than done when the data comes from a range of sources, including social media.
Retailers are again rallying to fight state initiatives to tax merchants who do business with residents without a physical presence in their states.
The rich online behavioral data that marketers rely on more and more is under siege by Washington
Companies such as BlueKai and its competitors offer a broad view of the variety of consumer information available to marketers, because its tools gather data, including specific keywords, product research behavior and price searches, from multiple websites.
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Lawmakers and federal regulators have signaled online consumer privacy, including "do-not-track" legislation, could soon become a legislative priority.
The Direct Marketing Association filed a lawsuit in federal court June 30 claiming a Colorado law requiring out-of-state marketers and multichannel merchants to charge state tax and deliver customer information to state officials is unconstitutional.
Despite the grumblings about Facebook privacy issues, social networking - specifically Facebook - social networks are playing a larger part in users' lives each day, according to a study by Publicis' research unit Performics.
NetChoice, an industry coalition that counts AOL, eBay and Yahoo among its members, has declared that the consumer data privacy draft bill put forward by U.S. Reps Rick Boucher (D-VA) and Cliff Stearns (R-FL) last month, violates the First Amendment.
Infogroup has scheduled a June 29 stockholder meeting to vote on CCMP Capital Advisors' proposed $635 million acquisition of the company.
Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) introduced the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act, a bill that aims to curb sales tactics used by third-party online affiliates such as Affinion, Vertrue and Webloyalty.
A discussion draft of what could become sweeping Internet data privacy legislation has pitted direct marketers and list brokers against privacy advocates, with some saying it will kill direct marketing.
The Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit May 7 against Dun & Bradstreet, claiming the database company's February 2009 acquisition of competitor Quality Education Data (QED) gave it a monopoly on K-12 education data. The company uses the information to market books and other materials to education professionals.
To address the fast growing emerging mobile marketing space the DMA held its annual Mobile Marketing Day 2010 in New York on March 4th.
Card-issuing companies now must give consumers 45 days' notice if they change interest rates or most fees or agreement terms, according to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act.
Media and marketing services company Valassis has agreed to settle its pending lawsuits against News Corp.-owned News America Marketing. NAM will pay Valassis $500 million as part of the agreement, reached on January 30.
Consumers continue to voice concern about the privacy of their data. But should data privacy issues be at the top of a marketer's priority list? Two experts debate the topic.
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