Before today, we’ve never selected a state’s entire legislative agenda as the top item on our iAWFUL list of bad Internet laws, because no single state had ever made such a concerted effort to regulate, restrict and repress e-commerce.
California has always had a reputation for being pioneering.
Over the past six months, the Sacramento statehouse has unleashed a torrent of misguided, regressive bills targeted at the heart of the innovation industry that is at the heart of the economic recovery – not only in California, but across the nation.
Individually, none of these bills poses as much threat as the second item on our list – the federal Internet sales tax that topped the last iAWFUL – but taken together they not only represent a disturbing new trend of regulatory interventionism, but also a serious threat to the Internet economy.Read More
There has been a lot of concern about the failure of the W3C to finish creating a do-not-track (DNT) standard. Some worry that if this takes too long, we may see a proliferation of different and competing DNT systems which make compliance difficult if not impracticable.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the standards organization for the web, has been working on creating a DNT standard for several months and many are growing impatient.
Have you ever wondered what happens to your Facebook or online email account when you die? Should your heirs get control of your digital assets?
Email services and social networks have default policies in place for handling accounts of deceased members. They are also experimenting with new ways to help users choose the fate of their accounts after they die.
For example, Facebook has a “memorialize” feature that respects a user’s privacy while letting friends and family post messages and memories. Hotmail allows next of kin to receive a DVD with the contents of the account. Some online services are attracting users because of their strong privacy protections and default data deletion policies.
So with all this innovation and choice, why do legislators think they still need to act?Read More
Just in time for Christmas, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued its final rule on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The final rule isn’t terrible, but it’s not something we were looking for.
Let’s start with the disturbing parts of the rule.
First is the expansion of who is covered by COPPA. Prior to the new rule, COPPA covered only child-directed websites. But now, web plugins, like YouTube videos, may find themselves subject to COPPA restrictions, liability, and enforcement actions. This will stifle innovation by plugin providers and raise costs for child-directed sites.Read More
A new survey looking at how teens perceive the Internet reinforces the need to think seriously about how and whether employers should be allowed access to employees’ social media accounts. Striking the right balance could have a profound impact on the next generation of workers, whose entire lives have played out online.
The survey, performed by Hart Research Associates, found 31% of teens are concerned that their social behaviors online will “haunt” them when it comes time to apply for colleges and jobs.
The study blows holes in the notion that teens are oblivious or uncaring about the long-term affects of their online behaviors. It paints a picture of a generation of Internet savvy teens who grasp the extent to which the Internet has lengthened the half-life of youthful indiscretion.
The measure may also heap more fuel on the fire of legislative efforts to limit employers’ ability to use employees’ social media histories against them.Read More
You have probably been hearing a lot over the pat couple of weeks about “do not track” and that companies are following you.
But what does “do not track” really mean for you?
Well, means that you may lose some really great customer service.
But we extoll great customer service.
Last month I walked into my local deli and they already know exactly what I wanted to order, “a ruben?” Last week my car mechanic told me I am due for an oil change. And yesterday, I walked into my local bank and they greet me by name.
Each time this occurred, I told my friends and family about this great customer service.
These practices are all part of an age-old mantra for businesses, “know thy customer.” It is a mantra that businesses like Nordstrom know well. If you know your customer you can actually improve their experience and in return the customer will frequent your store and recommend it to friends.
These practices are being translated to the online space.Read More
Congress may have gone home to campaign, but that hasn’t stopped bad internet bills and regulations from threatening to stifle innovation and limit online choices.
To highlight some of the gravest – and most imminent – legislative and regulatory threats to e-commerce, NetChoice today unveiled a special edition of the Internet Advocates Watchlist for Ugly Laws (iAWFUL).
This latest iAWFUL focuses on measures that pose an imminent threat to the internet in 2012, ones that lawmakers want to jam through legislatures, or rules already in effect and in dire need of repeal and redress.Read More