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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Consumer Watchdog Welcomes Senate Probe of FTC’s Google Antitrust Investigation

News release: “Consumer Watchdog today welcomed plans by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) to examine the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust investigation of Google that was closed in 2013 without a lawsuit. After the Wall Street Journal earlier this month published portions of a 2012 FTC report recommending the Commission prosecute Google, Consumer Watchdog urged Chairman Lee and Ranking Member Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) to hold a Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee hearing to examine how Google managed to dodge antitrust prosecution…Consumer Watchdog urged Sen. Lee to hold a full fledged public hearing on the issue.  The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group also called on the FTC to release the complete report of the Bureau of Competition recommending prosecution, as well as another report from the Commission’s Bureau of Economics. The FTC report was revealed by the Wall Street Journal, which got part of the 160-page document when the Commission mistakenly released it in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, the newspaper said. The staff critique concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted—and will result—in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets,” the Wall Street Journal reported. The Competition Bureau called on the FTC to file an antitrust lawsuit against Google on three of the four issues under review, the Wall Street Journal reported. It was one of several recommendations prepared by divisions within the Commission. The FTC’s Bureau of Economics recommended against a lawsuit, the newspaper said.”

Facebook tracks all users in breach of EU law

theguardian, Samuel Gibbs: “Facebook tracks the web browsing of everyone who visits a page on its site even if the user does not have an account or has explicitly opted out of tracking in the EU, extensive research commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency has revealed. The report, from researchers at the Centre ofContinue Reading

Detekt – free tool that scans your Windows computer for traces of commercial surveillance spyware

Via FastCoExit: “Spyware like FinFisher contributes to a multi-billion dollar business. But until last week, activists had few ways to defend themselves, aside from the well-placed bit of duct tape over the computer camera and rigorous digital hygiene practices. That’s why Amnesty International, Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation rolled out aContinue Reading

Wall Street Journal Reveals FTC Ignored Google’s Anticompetitive Practices

EPIC –  “According to an internal document obtained by the WSJ, in 2012 the Federal Trade Commission ignored recommendations to reform Google’s anticompetitive practices. The FTC staff report concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted-and will result-in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.” The internal FTC report saidContinue Reading

Consumer Goods Industry Commits to New Guidelines on Consumer Engagement and Data Privacy

“In order to help build trust with consumers and shape the way companies, retailers and manufacturers use consumer information that is collected digitally, The Consumer Goods Forum today announced that its Board of Directors has agreed on a new set of ‘Consumer Engagement Principles’ (the “Principles”). The industry-wide Principles will act as a framework forContinue Reading

Network Neutrality Revisited: Challenges and Responses in the EU and in the US

DIRECTORATE GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES POLICY DEPARTMENT A : ECONOMIC AND SCIENTIFIC POLICY – Network Neutrality Revisited: Challenges and Responses in the EU and in the US, December 2014. This document was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. Authored by J. Scott Marcus. “This analytical study provides backgroundContinue Reading

Seven ways to grow the e-book business while helping libraries and readers: Ideas based on my two decades of writing about it

Via LLRX.com –  Seven ways to grow the e-book business while helping libraries and readers: Ideas based on my two decades of writing about it –  E-book sales are not posting impressive sales increases, at least not among big publishers. One major reason is that much of the technology is difficult to use. Even increasedContinue Reading

Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community – 2015

Statement for the Record Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, Senate Armed Services Committee, James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence February 26, 2015. Cyber Strategic Assessment – “Cyber threats to US national and economic security are increasing in frequency, scale, sophistication, and severity of impact. The ranges of cyber threat actors, methodsContinue Reading

Price Comparison Websites

Price Comparison Websites, David Ronayne, February 2015. WARWICK ECONOMIC RESEARCH PAPERS. “Price comparison websites are commonly thought to benet consumers by increasing competitive pressure between rms, in turn lowering prices faced by consumers. This article investigates the impact of the introduction of a PCW or ‘web aggregator’ to the market for a homogeneous good. WeContinue Reading

Federal Courts Considers FTC’s Data Protection Authority

EPIC – “A federal appeals court heard arguments today in FTC v. Wyndham, an important data privacy case. Wyndham Hotels, which revealed hundreds of thousands of customer records following a data breach, is challenging the FTC’s authority to enforce data security standards. In an amicus brief joined by legal scholars and technical experts, EPIC defendedContinue Reading

14 Consumer Groups Outline Shortcomings In WH Privacy Legislation

“Consumer Watchdog today joined 13 other public interest groups in a letter to President Obama outlining the shortcomings of the draft Consumer Privacy Bill Of Rights Act and pledging to work with the Administration and Congress to strengthen the “In 2 2012, you released your vision of the founding principles of consumer privacy — theContinue Reading

Get away with Google Flights

Google Official Blog: “While winds howl, frost bites and snow falls, people dream of getting away from it all. Every year around this time, we see an uptick in searches for spring and summer travel from people who have had it up to here with winter. And in the middle of one of the coldest,Continue Reading