Archive for the 'Privacy' Category

Yelp Children’s Privacy Settlement

September 17, 2014

This is a very interesting case. The Children’s Online Privacy Act prevents web publishers from collecting personal information from minors without parental consent. Yelp had such policy posted on their site, but the functionality wasn’t there. Minors were thus able to post private data on Yelp. The settlement with the FTC was $450,000.

Make sure that your site works…

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 5.16.50 PM


Potential Antitrust Issues with TV Everywhere

January 4, 2010

A collection of public interest groups have complained to federal regulators that the cable industry’s “TV Everywhere” plans violate antitrust law. See article in the Washington Post here. In essence, the TV Everywhere approach forces an Internet TV bundle. The programming is only available to subscribers of traditional cable. Ultimately, a settlement allowing consumers to purchase an Internet only programming bundle (i.e., drop the cable requirement) would be very interesting. I think that it’s fair to say that the cable providers will fight the unbundled approach given the need to protect the legacy business.

I want my Internet TV.

Some gardens should be walled

December 10, 2009

The new privacy settings on Facebook are out.  For me, a big part of the value of Facebook is that it is kept private (it’s the place where I will share family photos).  I’m wondering how many people will modify the new default privacy settings (I’m guessing most won’t).  Here’s a screenshot from my account with the recommended privacy settings (e.g., status updates are public by default).

I think that it was a strange move by Facebook to default such a broad range of privacy settings as public (although I can understand, from a business perspective why the decision was made).  Given that so many setting were changed to public, it feels like a bit of a privacy bait-and-switch move.

Justice Scalia dossier and privacy rights

November 23, 2009

This is a really interesting story.  Justice Scalia maintains that there is no privacy right to the scads of individual items of personal data floating around the Internet.  However, when a Fordham Law School class created a 15 page dossier on Scalia (based on information pulled from public sources on the web) he wasn’t happy.  Justice Scalia objected based on his conclusion that the exercise demonstrated bad judgment (which is, ultimately, protected by the First Amendment).

This is yet another example of the tension between privacy rights and the First Amendment.  Development of frictionless information distribution via the web is gas thrown on the fire of this issue.

Read the following post on

The tension between the First Amendment and privacy rights ( case)

November 20, 2009

A Florida man facing a year in jail for the online posting of a local police officer’s phone number and address is challenging the 37-year-old state law on First Amendment grounds.Arizona is believed to be the only other state with a similar law. A similar Washington state law was overturned on First Amendment grounds in 2004.

The Florida federal court case is being brought by Robert Brayshaw, who posted the personal information of a Florida officer last year on the popular website Ratemycop. The statute does not require that the information be published on the internet. A local judge tossed the case on procedural grounds, saying prosecutors failed to bring the case to trial within Florida’s 90-day speedy trial rules.

Brayshaw’s attorney, James Green, said his 34-year-old client was the only person ever facing trial for allegedly violating the 1972 law that carries a maximum one-year jail term. His client brought suit (.pdf) Friday in federal court to overturn the law in a bid to continue exercising his First Amendment rights of speech, Green said.