Survey: 96 Percent Say “Do Not Track” Should Be Respected

privacy-security-online-computer A new survey from a group called Consumer Action has an unequivocal message for marketers: do not track us. The telephone survey was conducted in May among 1,000 US adults. The findings are pretty negative, even ominous, for publishers and ad networks. However, they should come as no surprise. In numerous past surveys consumers have consistently expressed ambivalence and even outright hostility to the idea of being tracked and targeted by online marketers, ad networks and publishers. This survey was partly funded through "a grant from Microsoft." Below I highlight some of the findings bu [...]


Europeans Take New Look At Google’s Android Licensing Practices

google-europe-featured The Financial Times is reporting that Google is now "facing an investigation by European authorities into allegations that it supported the leading Android smartphone platform and its mobile services by means of cut-price licensing and exclusivity deals." There isn't a formal investigation on this question yet. Rather, the European Commission is submitting a questionnaire to device makers and mobile carriers for their input. Google's rivals are undoubtedly behind these complaints to keep pressure on the European Commission, which is on the cusp of settling its antitrust (search-related) in [...]


Twitter Loses French Appeal To Avoid Disclosing Hate-Speaker Names

Twitter Logo Twitter has lost an appeal in France to avoid disclosing the identities of people behind anti-Semitic hashtags that appeared and trended last year. Among them were #unjuifmort, which translates "a dead Jew," and “unbonjuif" ("a good Jew"), which became a source of jokes about The Holocaust and killing Jews. Anti-Semitism is currently on the rise throughout Europe. The Union of Jewish French Students (UEJF) and other human-rights groups sought disclosure of the identities of those behind the hashtags. Twitter refused, though it removed some of the more outrageous content. In January, [...]


3 Reasons Why Social Media Policy Is More Important Than Strategy

cart horse [caption id="attachment_47969" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via shutterstock.com[/caption] Social media policies aren't typically the first things that come to mind when you're developing a social media marketing strategy. But they should be. Without social media policies in place, social media marketing plans are unsustainable. On social networks, reach is a function of engagement. Without engagement, there is no reach. Thus, in order for social media marketing messages to get noticed, they need to get passed along to friends of friends and their friends. That means other [...]


As Early As 2000 NSA Set Out To “Live On The Network”

Great Seal of US An enormous amount has already been written about the National Security Agency's (NSA's) "domestic spying" since The Guardian's initial revelations about the secret collection of telco company records just a couple of days ago. That was followed 24 hours later by even more explosive revelations from The Washington Post of supposedly direct NSA access to the servers of major US Internet companies such as Apple, Google, Yahoo and Facebook. Almost all the companies named in top-secret slides exposed by The Washington Post have issued strong denials -- in the case of Google, multiple denials [...]


Twitter Reaches Spam Lawsuit Settlement With Tweet Adder

twitter-legal-law Twitter has settled its lawsuit against Tweet Adder, one of five companies that Twitter sued last year, accusing them of making tools that spread spam across its service. As AllThingsD first reported, the settlement places strict rules on what Tweet Adder is allowed to do with its current software -- primarily, it has to play by all of Twitter's rules. From the settlement document: "Defendants ... are permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly ... creating, developing, manufacturing, adapting, modifying, making available, trafficking in, using, disclosing, selling, licensing, distrib [...]


Microsoft, Google To Build New Windows Phone YouTube App Together

microsoft-google-logos Microsoft and Google appear to have buried the hatchet over the YouTube app that's been available for Windows Phones, and say they're "working together" to get a new app out "in the coming weeks." The two companies issued a statement today, two days after the deadline that Google had given Microsoft to remove the previous app from the Windows Phone Store. Earlier this month, Google sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter because Microsoft's version of the YouTube app wasn't showing Google's ads. Google's letter asked Microsoft to remove the app by May 22nd, but today's statement says th [...]


Microsoft To YouTube: Where’s That Interoperability Larry Page Was Talking About?

microsoft-google-logos Microsoft and Google are involved in a battle over the YouTube app for Windows Phones, and Microsoft has followed a cease-and-desist letter from Google by questioning Google's commitment to interoperability and working together. As The Verge reported today, Google sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter demanding that Microsoft remove the YouTube app from its Windows Phone Store because Microsoft's version of the app doesn't include Google's ads. Microsoft has responded today in a statement shared with Marketing Land that says Google hasn't given Microsoft access to the necessary APIs t [...]


Cookie-Stuffing Could Land eBay’s Top Two Affiliates In Jail

ebay-logo-240px Business Insider has an interesting and in-depth article about the ongoing legal cases that could land eBay's two biggest affiliates in jail soon on charges of wire fraud. If you've been in the online marketing industry for a while, you may recognize the names Shawn Hogan and Brian Dunning. They're the two affiliates that eBay and the FBI started pursuing in 2006 after suspecting that they were earning millions while violating eBay's affiliate terms of service. According to court documents, Hogan made an astounding $28 million in affiliate commissions from eBay, and Dunning made $7 milli [...]


Twitter Warns Reporters To Be “Extra Vigilant” After @AP Account Compromised

twitter-hacked-200px (screenshot via CNN) Twitter is warning media outlets to be "extra vigilant" in light of today's incident involving a fake tweet sent out by hackers that had gained access to the Associated Press' Twitter account, @AP. It's also good advice for brands and marketers -- and for all Twitter users, actually. Shortly after 1:00 pm EST today, the AP's account sent out a (fake) tweet saying that President Obama was injured after "two explosions in the White House." The Dow Jones stock market index momentarily tanked almost 150 points. The AP disabled its Twitter accounts, at least temporari [...]


Why Are Banner Ads Showing Up On Popular Websites Like Apple.com & Bing.com?

According to a recent Ars Technica article, two CMA Communications customers have reported banner ads being injected directly into webpages on popular websites, and they are blaming the ISP. Earlier this year, Robert Silvie and Zachary Henkel noticed banner ads running along the bottom of pages belonging to companies like Apple, Walmart, Target, Bing and eBay. Both Silvie and Henkel were using Internet service provider CMA Communications when they spotted the suspicious banner ads. Knowing that Bing didn't run commodity banner ads at the bottom of its home page, Silvie first thought it w [...]


FTC Updates “.Com Disclosure” Online Ad Guidelines

FTC ad disclosure rules Under the banner of preventing "fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices," the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has updated its online advertising disclosure guidelines and requirements. A previous version of these guidelines was issued in 2000. The rise of mobile devices and social media marketing, in particular, were cited as reasons the guidelines were updated: How to Make Effective Disclosures in Digital Advertising, takes into account the expanding use of smartphones with small screens and the rise of social media marketing . . . Like the original, the updated guidan [...]


Facebook Says Employee Computers Were Hacked, No Evidence That User Data Was Compromised

facebook-security-hack-featured Facebook is the latest major Internet company to admit that it's been victimized by hackers, but says it's found no evidence that user information was compromised. In a blog post this afternoon, Facebook says it discovered the hack last month after "a handful of employees" had visited a compromised website. The website hosted an exploit that installed malware on its employees' computers. "We have found no evidence that Facebook user data was compromised," the post says in bold lettering. Facebook says the episode was the result of a "sophisticated attack," one that involved a zero-day [...]


Twitter Says Hackers May Have Accessed 250,000 User Accounts

twitter-security-hacking-featured Twitter says a group of "extremely sophisticated" hackers may have recently accessed limited user information for about 250,000 users accounts, prompting the company to reset the passwords associated with those accounts and remind all of its users to create a stronger password. The investigation is still going on, but Twitter says the hackers might've accessed some users' personal information: This week, we detected unusual access patterns that led to us identifying unauthorized access attempts to Twitter user data. We discovered one live attack and were able to shut it down in process mom [...]


FTC: Privacy Disclosures For Kids’ Mobile Apps Incomplete, Deceptive

ftc-kids-mobile-featured In February 2012 the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a study of privacy and mobile apps for kids. The study concluded that parents weren't given enough information in the app stores to properly evaluate privacy practices. At the time the FTC issued some recommendations for app developers, as well as Apple and Google: All members of the "kids app ecosystem" – the stores, developers and third parties providing services – should play an active role in providing key information to parents. App developers should provide data practices information in simple and short disclosu [...]


Report: Plaintiff Willing To Settle Mexican Lawsuit Against Yahoo

yahoo-logo The plaintiff that recently won a $2.7 billion judgment against Yahoo in a Mexican lawsuit is willing to settle the case for less money. Carlos Bazan-Canabal tells Reuters that Ideas Interactivas and its holding company, Worldwide Directories, are willing to listen if Yahoo wants to settle the case. "If we can reach a settlement with an interesting number, we would go for it." The lawsuit came to light last week when Yahoo announced its plan to appeal what would be a significant financial hit. The Reuters article also sheds more light on the issues that initially led to the breach [...]


Yahoo To Appeal $2.7B Judgment In Mexican Yellow Pages Contract Lawsuit

yahoo-legal-law-featured Yahoo is planning to appeal a $2.7 billion judgment against it in a lawsuit over a yellow pages listings service in Mexico. The company announced the judgment and its plan to appeal in a short news release this afternoon. Details about the case are vague. Yahoo's statement says that a company called Worldwide Directories S.A. de C.V. and Ideas Interactivas, S.A. de C.V. sued Yahoo and Yahoo Mexico for breach of contract, breach of promise and lost profits related to contracts for a yellow pages listing service. Some reports say that Worldwide Directories is the parent company of Ideas I [...]


PeopleBrowsr-Twitter Case Illustrates Risks Of Building A Business On Third Party Platforms

twitter-legal-law PeopleBrowsr, the social analytics platform that derives substantially all its data (including its Kred scoring) from access to Twitter's feed, has fallen victim to Twitter's recent ambitions to rein in and exercise more control over its ecosystem. The company, which once promised an open platform and developer access to its data "firehose," has more recently tightened the rules surrounding use of its API. PeopleBrowsr's business is fundamentally threatened by these changes. And so it sought (and obtained) a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing Twitter from cutting off its direct ac [...]


U.S., Euro Governments Seize 132 Domain Names Selling Counterfeit Goods

fake-website-icon For the third consecutive year, websites selling counterfeit products online have been seized on Cyber Monday, the day generally thought to be the busiest online shopping day of the year. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced today that 132 domain names have been seized this year in two campaigns known as "Project Cyber Monday 3" and "Project Transatlantic." The latter project refers to the fact that law enforcement agencies in several European countries also took part. The US-based effort nabbed 101 domains, while the European project claimed another 31. The ICE s [...]


Clickbooth Affiliate Network To Pay $2 Million FTC Settlement Over Acai Berry Ad Claims

ftc-logo Fighting deceptive advertising on the web is probably akin to playing a game of Whac-A-Mole, but the FTC has scored a hit against affiliate marketers that allegedly used deceptive ads to sell acai berry weight-loss products and colon cleansers. The FTC recently announced a $2 million settlement with the Clickbooth affiliate network over charges that Clickbooth's affiliate marketers deceived consumers with "bogus weight loss claims on fake news sites." According to the complaint, the affiliates used websites that looked like real news sites and used domains such as online6health.com, cha [...]


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