The FTC recently testified before Congress that there should be a function in browsers to allow a “Do Not Track” option. I am a bit cynical about how effective this might be considering I get robo-calls offering to lower my interest despite the “Do Not Call” list and I still get spam despite CAN-SPAM and other legislation. But as always, details matter. Is this going to work or cripple the free ad-supported Internet we have grown to love and loathe? I offer for your consideration a links:
The Wall Street Journal has added a investigative series to their blog titled What They Know. Sounds sufficiently scary.
I think this is noteworthy for two reasons. First, its a sign that the intersection of privacy and marketing is no longer an issue just for law geeks. Second, the blog seems to have done a fairly good job of visualizing how data is used by third parties.
It will probably surprise many to see that something as seemingly innocuous as online dictionaries can be used to collect so much information about people.
There’s even a blog about it. I use Yelp! only occasionally but I do rely on reviews on Google and elsewhere. This can be a touchy subject for many small business owners as they can and do find customers through online reviews.I found my barber through those reviews and I know he takes those online reviews pretty seriously. Its also ripe for abuse as small businesses may be tempted to put as many five star reviews up as the can. What this lawsuit alleges though is that Yelp! asked for money to make the bad reviews go away. Yelp! denies this and states that they only remove reviews that they believe are illegitimate.
This commercial amused me so much. Puffery is one of those terms that when you first hear it, you assume you misunderstood because it couldn’t possibly be a real legal term. But it is. Basically, puffery is exagerated praise for promoting or selling products. E.g. “The Godfread Law Firm is the greatest law firm ever!!!” The legal effect is that you couldn’t sue me for deceptive advertising or breach of warranty or otherwise rely upon that statement.