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Location, Location, Location

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel about location-based services at the FTC’s town hall meeting, Beyond Voice: Mapping the Mobile Marketplace. Now that the number of U.S. consumers who own a mobile device has outpaced the number of U.S. Internet users, the policy issues in the mobile space are taking on increased…

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Chertoff Disagrees with the Rest of His Agency, Again

Nine days ago, Sophia Cope blogged about how Homeland Secretary Secretary Michael Chertoff suggested that REAL IDs cannot be skimmed, in sharp contrast to DHS REAL ID Regs, which clearly say that the REAL ID is at risk of skimming. Today, CDT Fellow Peter Swire blogged on the Center for American Progress Web site about a new…

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Consumer (Dis)Comfort With Online Tracking

In privacy debates about online advertising, the focus is most often on consumers. Consumers love free content, the advertisers and ad networks say. They say consumers are willing to have their online activities analyzed and categorized, because an ad for a minivan that lands in front of a soccer mom is valuable, and valuable ads are what support the…

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Google-DoubleClick is a Done Deal. Now What?

CDT has been suggesting that the Google/DoubleClick merger simply heightened existing concerns on what the industry as a whole is doing. The recent reaction to Phorm’s testing in Britiain and growth in ISP ad targeting industry shows that remains true today. However, we were hoping that the FTC or the EU would ask Google to…

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User Tracking and Targeting Coming to an ISP Near You? Not So Fast.

Advertisers have long characterized the Internet as a marketing gold mine, with an abundance of granular data about the things we like, who we are, and what we shop for. The key has always been in harnessing this data, and online network advertising companies are continually seeking to cast wider and wider nets to learn more about individual users'…

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White House 2.0

This week, I was fortunate to moderate a panel called White House 2.0 at the Politics Online Conference in Washington this week. The panel asked the question — If Web 2.0 technology has pervaded the campaigns this year, how will the technology be used to govern in the future? Panelists had a diversity of views…

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Future Prospects of “Potentially” Personal Information

The Internet has been abuzz in recent days (see the New York Times, Ars Technica, and the Google Public Policy Blog) with the question of whether Internet Protocol (IP) addresses collected by online companies should be considered as "personal data" (in European Union terminology) or "personally identifiable information" (in U.S. terminology) that can be used to…

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Online Consumer Privacy Concerns Growing

Two recent papers published by the Pew Internet and American Life Project highlight the continued growing concern about privacy. In Privacy Implications of Fast, Mobile Internet Access, Susannah Fox suggests that consumers are reluctant to share personal information when they are given control over disclosure: More generally, consumers are now expressing a more consistent interest…

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New Budget Makes IRS Tracking Proposal History (hopefully)

In May, we wrote a widely circulated policy post highlighting the privacy issues involved in an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) proposal that would require “brokers” – including online auction sites like eBay – to collect the Social Security numbers of millions of users. The plan was part of the Bush budget proposal to…

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REAL ID for Sudafed? Call it ‘Mission Creep’

Just five days after the Department of Homeland Security released the final regulations to implement the REAL ID Act, DHS Assistant Secretary for Policy Stewart Baker suggested yet another terrifying use of the controversial ID card: to buy Sudafed. This followed the Department’s official position in the final rules that it has no intention of turning REAL ID into…

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