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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Big Spending by Google Facebook and Amazon on Federal Lobbying

ConsumerWatchDog: “Google trimmed its spending on lobbying in the second quarter by 13 percent to $4.62 million, according to disclosure forms filed today with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, but still significantly outspent other tech giants. Google spent $5.29 million on federal lobbying in the second quarter of 2014 and $5.1 million in the first quarter of 2015. Both Facebook and Amazon set records in their efforts to influence policymakers during the second quarter. “The massive amounts these companies are spending demonstrates how policymaking is now about who has the big bucks rather than who has the big ideas,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. Facebook spent $2.69 million in the second quarter of 2015, a record, and up 27 percent from $2.12 million in the second quarter of 2014. It topped Facebook’s first quarter spending of $2.44 million by 10 percent. Amazon’s spending on lobbying soared 103 percent to a record $2.15 million in the second quarter of 2015 from $1.06 million in the comparable 2014 period. Microsoft, which used to lead tech companies in the amount spent on lobbying, trimmed its expenditures again. It spent $2.24 million in the second quarter of 2015 compared to $2.34 million in the same period of 2014, a 4 percent decrease.

Survey – TV is Now the 2nd Screen for Kids

Robert Miner, CEO and Founder—Miner & Co. Studio: ” In our latest study on kids’ preferences in viewing TV content across devices and platforms, we find that in a majority of family households with tablets and smartphones, TV is no longer the first choice for entertainment, with 57% of parents saying their child prefers aContinue Reading

New Google Hotel Finder

“Google Hotel Finder makes it easier to compare and book hotels that are found across the web. Try it out at google.com/hotels. Here’s what you can do with Google Hotel Finder: Find hotels according to what is important to you, such as price, location, amenities, and user ratings. Review accurate and detailed information about thoseContinue Reading

Symantec Intelligence Report June 2015

“There is good news this month on the email-based front of the threat landscape. According to our metrics, the overall spam rate has dropped to 49.7 percent. This is the first time this rate has fallen below 50 percent of email for over a decade. The last time Symantec recorded a similar spam rate wasContinue Reading

EPIC Urges Investigation of “Always On” Consumer Devices

“EPIC has asked the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to conduct a workshop on ‘Always-On’ Consumer Devices. EPIC described the increasing presence of internet-connected devices in consumer’s homes, such as TVs, toys, and thermostats, that routinely record and store private communications. EPIC urged the agencies to conduct a comprehensive investigation to determineContinue Reading

Consumer Watchdog files FTC complaint on Right to be Forgotten

Consumer Watchdog news release: “Google’s failure to offer U.S. users the ability to request the removal of search engine links from their name to information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive is an “unfair and deceptive” practice, Consumer Watchdog said in a complaint today to the Federal Trade Commission. In Europe whereContinue Reading

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, andContinue Reading

FTC- Start with Security: A Guide for Business

“When managing your network, developing an app, or even organizing paper files, sound security is no accident. Companies that consider security from the start assess their options and make reasonable choices based on the nature of their business and the sensitivity of the information involved. Threats to data may transform over time, but the fundamentalsContinue Reading

Unlocking the potential of the Internet of Things

McKinsey – The Internet of Things – sensors and actuators connected by networks to computing systems—has received enormous attention over the past five years. A new McKinsey Global Institute report, The Internet of Things: Mapping the value beyond the hype, attempts to determine exactly how IoT technology can create real economic value. Our central findingContinue Reading

Paper – The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in Digital Era

PLOS ONE Open Access – “The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over timeContinue Reading

Study – Major ISPs degrading internet speed to US users

The Guardian: “Major internet providers, including AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon, are slowing data from popular websites to thousands of US businesses and residential customers in dozens of cities across the country, according to a study released on [June 22, 2015]. The study, conducted by internet activists BattlefortheNet, looked at the results from 300,000 internet users and foundContinue Reading

Bing to implement HTTPS summer 2015

Bing Moving to Encrypt Search Traffic by Default: “At Microsoft, we’re committed to helping users keep their data safe and secure. That’s why we support the industry’s move to use of TLS protocols as part of our effort to expand encryption across our networks and services. Bing has already been offering users the option toContinue Reading