Online Ad Campaign Bill would require more disclosures for digital ads

It’s been a long time coming.  Television and radio stations have had to live up to often onerous regulations on political advertising.  From requiring identification on funding, how large and prominent certain disclosures are, and maintaining online political files showing who bought what, where it ran, and how much they paid.  In some cases, long … Continue reading Online Ad Campaign Bill would require more disclosures for digital ads

If you share it on networking websites, does it become public or can access be limited?

It’s a battle over privacy rights that has constitutional law implications.  At the heart of it if a simple question with an incredibly complex answer:  If you share it on social networking websites, does it become public or can access by limited? Right now, the case features two companies going to court:  LinkedIn and hiQ.  … Continue reading If you share it on networking websites, does it become public or can access be limited?

Can public officials block citizens on social media or is it a violation of their constitutional rights?

Here’s an interesting debate: If you’re a public official, should you have the right to block people from your social media page? A number of public officials are being sued, including Governor’s in Maryland, Kentucky, and Maine, by state ACLU chapters. Kentucky Governor Sued In Kentucky, the ACLU there filed suit on behalf of some 600 … Continue reading Can public officials block citizens on social media or is it a violation of their constitutional rights?

Canada’s Supreme Court rules Google must block some search content worldwide

Can one country really tell Google what it can and can't show in its search results for the rest of the world?  Read on. Canada’s Supreme Court made a startling ruling that has broad-reaching impact around the world.  In a 7-2 ruling, the court decided to grant an injunction preventing Google from showing certain search … Continue reading Canada’s Supreme Court rules Google must block some search content worldwide

Should Google & Facebook be regulated, pay license fees for news content?

The British government has officially opened an inquiry into “fake news.”  Damian Collins MP, Chair of the Committee investigating, summed it up: “The growing phenomenon of fake news is a threat to democracy and undermines confidence in the media in general.” Now British publishers have responded.  The newspaper group News Media Alliance is advocating regulation of … Continue reading Should Google & Facebook be regulated, pay license fees for news content?

Twitter users targeted by government for “national security”

Read the actual order letters after the jump. For the first time, Twitter is able to speak openly about national security requests it received about surveillance and requests for data on Twitter account holders. Even though the requests date back to 2015 and 2016, they were accompanied by a “gag order” which legally prohibited the social … Continue reading Twitter users targeted by government for “national security”

Facebook hit with another lawsuit over misrepresenting video ad metrics

You may not have heard of the high-tech company, Quirky, which filed for bankruptcy and then starting selling off its assets in 2015.  You may, however, have heard of Wink, a home automation hub.  Quirky was an early innovator and high flier in the home automation business, but it couldn’t survive on its own.  It … Continue reading Facebook hit with another lawsuit over misrepresenting video ad metrics

Advertising groups say online “opt-in” rules violate First Amendment

Is advertising protected speech? And can internet companies use your personal information in advertising without your permission? These answer to these questions seems to be yes if you agree with the advertising trade associations that are asking the FCC to change its opt-in privacy rules for online service providers. The Association of National Advertisers, the … Continue reading Advertising groups say online “opt-in” rules violate First Amendment

Four times people were threatened or sued for leaving bad reviews on Yelp… and won

Put a bad review on line and you risk not just making the business mad, but maybe lawsuits and fines. You may not even know you’re doing something that could get you in trouble, but buried in the TOS (term of service agreements) you never read, or buried in some small type on a contract … Continue reading Four times people were threatened or sued for leaving bad reviews on Yelp… and won

Biggest ad fraud in history?  Hackers stealing $3-$5 million dollars a day using video ads

White Ops security researchers have exposed the most profitable and advanced ad fraud operation ever seen by the industry. Dubbed "The Methbot Operation" after references to "meth" in the code of the bot itself, a group of operators has siphoned off as much as $180 million from major U.S. media companies and brand advertisers. Controlled … Continue reading Biggest ad fraud in history?  Hackers stealing $3-$5 million dollars a day using video ads

Should internet providers be held liable when its users illegally download content?

“In this copyright action, the putative owners of more than 1,400 musical composition copyrights seek to hold Cox Communications, Inc. and Cox Com, LLC (collectively, "Cox") contributorily and vicariously liable for alleged copyright infringement taking place over its high-speed internet service." With those words, the court’s opinion in the case against Cox Communications for copyright … Continue reading Should internet providers be held liable when its users illegally download content?

Copyright, Fair Use, Free Speech, Prince, and the case of the Dancing Baby

Stephanie Lenz thought it was kinda funny when she saw her baby dancing back in 1984. She took video and posted a clip of less than 30 seconds on YouTube. In the background, amid a fair amount of ambient noise (and another child screaming), you can make out “Let’s Go Crazy,” a song by Prince. … Continue reading Copyright, Fair Use, Free Speech, Prince, and the case of the Dancing Baby

Is Facebook allowing illegal, discriminatory advertising practices?

Facebook ads lets you exclude users from ads based on race When you're as big as Facebook is, everything you do is going to be under the microscope - from what stories you feature in the Trending section, to what pictures you allow to be published, to how you count video views, to the nuances … Continue reading Is Facebook allowing illegal, discriminatory advertising practices?

When did we become an opt-out world?

We all know that nobody reads Terms of Service on anybody’s website, or User Agreements when downloading an app. We have just come to accept that there’s probably bad stuff in there that we won’t want but it’s the price we have to pay. I say enough! It’s time to become an opt-in world. Want … Continue reading When did we become an opt-out world?

14 year old sues Facebook for allowing naked picture to appear on shaming pages in so-called “revenge porn” case

It could lead to significant changes in how social media deals with the situation. Every day, approximately 1.8 billion photos are uploaded to the internet.  Microsoft estimates some 720,000 of these pictures contain online child sexual abuse.  Every single day. If the exact image is uploaded to sites multiple times, it can be blocked.  But … Continue reading 14 year old sues Facebook for allowing naked picture to appear on shaming pages in so-called “revenge porn” case

Children suing Parents for posting pictures on-line

If you share an embarrassing picture of your kids on Facebook, you might get sued. An 18-year old woman in Austria is suing her parents, saying they posted more than 500 images of her without her consent. Dad says he took the pictures so he has the rights.  The daughter disagrees. It's not just an … Continue reading Children suing Parents for posting pictures on-line

Sunshine Law request results in $82,000 bill for public records search

Group seeks information on how dogs are being used in research by Universities The Beagle Freedom Project is an animal rights activist group that’s filed a lawsuit against the University of Missouri. The suit has to do with its claim that the University is violating the state’s Sunshine Laws. The group’s been outspoken in its criticism of … Continue reading Sunshine Law request results in $82,000 bill for public records search

Digital ad market could be 2nd largest revenue source for organized crime

Two congressman have asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate online ad fraud. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) are behind the effort. Both are members of the Senate Banking Committee. While recognizing the online advertising industry’s efforts to get rid of ad fraud, the letter to the FTC questions … Continue reading Digital ad market could be 2nd largest revenue source for organized crime

Facebook sued for $1 Billion, lawsuit claims they support terrorism

The families of five American victims in terrorist attacks in Israel have filed suit against Facebook.  The lawsuit, reported first by Bloomberg, claims the company should be held liable for providing a platform for Hamas.  Hamas is recognized as a terrorist organization by the United States, Israel, and the European Union. From the Lawsuit: “Facebook … Continue reading Facebook sued for $1 Billion, lawsuit claims they support terrorism

If a town has social media pages, does it have the right to remove comments that are critical?

We may soon find out.  The ACLU of Indiana is suing Beech Grove (an Indianapolis suburb) on behalf of two people who say the city deleted their critical comments on the PD’s FB page.  The lawsuit says it violating the two women’s First Amendment rights. "When a government entity opens up a space for public … Continue reading If a town has social media pages, does it have the right to remove comments that are critical?

Journalists get some help in battle over public records

It’s nice to see both parties working together on something, but it does happen. Both the House and Senate passed the FOIA Improvement Act and President Obama signed it into law. Now we’ll see if it makes any difference. The bill is designed to “boost government responsiveness” to Freedom of Information Act requests. It says, … Continue reading Journalists get some help in battle over public records

Newspaper publisher, lawyer charged with felonies after filing Open Records request

“We are shocked that any journalist would be jailed for simply asking a question,” the Society of Professional Journalists said in a statement in Atlanta Journal-Constitution So are journalists across the country.  Not only have the publisher and lawyer been charged with felonies (felonies!), but they had to post $10,000 bonds and now undergo drug … Continue reading Newspaper publisher, lawyer charged with felonies after filing Open Records request

The moral dilemma of driver-less cars: save 10 pedestrians or save yourself?

You’re riding along in your driver-less car enjoying the day when suddenly a group of pedestrians blocks your path. It’s too late to slow down and your car has to make a choice: plow into a group of pedestrians and cause multiple deaths or veer into a concrete divider and kill you. Which would you choose? … Continue reading The moral dilemma of driver-less cars: save 10 pedestrians or save yourself?