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Online Privacy

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BUSINESS
November 9, 2011 | Angel Jennings
The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that it settled complaints against two online companies that deceptively collected personal information from consumers, including young children. The founder of Skid-e-kids, a social networking site for preteens, was charged with violating the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act by gathering the names, ages, and email addresses from children without obtaining prior parental approval. In a separate case, the FTC charged online advertiser ScanScout Inc. with using deceptive practices to track consumers' behavior online even when they followed its instructions to block data collection.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Federal Trade Commission and California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris say that Facebook is misinterpreting how a children's privacy law applies to teen privacy in a move that could undercut the giant social network in a federal court case in California. Facebook users sued the company for using their images in ads on the service without their consent and later settled the class-action lawsuit in 2012. Children's advocates are challenging the settlement in an effort to require Facebook to get explicit permission from parents before using the personal information - as well as the images, likes and comments - of teens in advertising.
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OPINION
February 24, 2012
Responding to a steady drumbeat of privacy violations online, the White House proposed a privacy bill of rights for Internet users Thursday that could give them more say over how personal information is collected and used. The initiative is a good starting point, as is a new effort by California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to require companies developing applications for smartphones and tablet computers to disclose their privacy policies. But they also highlight how tricky it is to set rules that guard sensitive personal information without hindering innovation or quickly becoming obsolete.
OPINION
March 5, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
As more of our children's education moves online, there are increased opportunities for abusing the collection of their personal data. Last month, state Senate leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) introduced a bill that would help close a loophole in federal regulations - at least in California - in an effort to safeguard personal information of public school students. The potential privacy violations could be significant, and it makes sense for the Legislature to act now. Under the federal Family and Educational Rights Protection Act, schools that receive federal funding are rightly barred from making disclosures about students' education records without permission.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2012 | By Pat Benson
Technology has changed a lot in 15 years. It's been nearly that long since the Federal Trade Commission has updated rules protecting kids' online privacy. The Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday that it has given parents greater control over the information that online services collect from kids 12 and under. Read Jessica Guynn's story on the issue here . Among the changes to the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act: The FTC updated rules for mobile apps and made it clear that a child's location, photographs and videos cannot be collected without a parent's permission.
BUSINESS
March 26, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Congress should pass online privacy legislation and businesses should voluntarily change how they handle personal data to protect consumers in the fast-evolving digital world, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. The agency issued a lengthy final report that reiterated its longstanding call for online advertisers and makers of Web browsers to enact a "Do Not Track" system that allows consumers to prevent the collection of data about their Internet surfing. The report also called for new rules for data brokers, including legislation to give consumers access to information about them collected by those companies.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Congress should pass online privacy legislation and businesses should voluntarily change how they handle personal data to protect consumers in the fast-evolving digital world, the Federal Trade Commission said Monday. The agency issued a lengthy final report that reiterated its long-standing call for online advertisers and makers of Web browsers to enact a Do Not Track system that allows consumers to prevent the collection of data about their Internet surfing. The report also called for new rules for data brokers, including legislation to give consumers access to information about them collected by those companies.
BUSINESS
November 14, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO - If the director of the CIA cannot keep the FBI from rummaging through his private Gmail account, what digital privacy protections do ordinary citizens have? Precious few, say privacy advocates. As the law stands now, law enforcement can secretly gain access to people's email, often without a search warrant. "When the government goes looking, it can find out pretty much everything about our lives," said Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel for the ACLU. That's because the main law governing digital privacy - the Electronic Communications Privacy Act or ECPA - was passed in 1986.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Do Americans care about their online privacy? More and more. As they share more personal information on social networks and other online services, they are hankering for better control over who has access to that stockpile of intimate and telling details about their shopping habits, medical records and family photos. PHOTOS: Biggest tech flops of 2013 -- so far So says a new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Teens may be ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting privacy on mobile apps and devices. And the younger they are, the more cautious they are about their personal information online. That's according to a new survey from Pew Research Center's Internet project. It found that more than half of American teens have downloaded an app to a mobile phone or tablet computer, but more than half of those teens have avoided an app over privacy concerns. And 26% of teen apps users have uninstalled an app after learning it was collecting personal information they did not want to share.
BUSINESS
February 27, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer
A Los Angeles woman has sued Sprint Corp., saying that one of its workers browsed through her traded-in phone, found two photographs of her engaged in sex and posted them on her Facebook page. The woman, identified in the lawsuit only as J. Johnson, said the Sprint employee used the Facebook application on her old phone to upload the photographs and make them visible to her family, friends and co-workers. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks unspecified damages for invasion of privacy, infliction of emotional distress and identity theft.
WORLD
December 19, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
United Nations member states unanimously adopted a symbolic resolution Thursday that declares a worldwide right of individuals to online privacy, a slap at the U.S. National Security Agency's massive surveillance programs that have angered Washington's friends and foes alike. The resolution urges an end to digital dragnets, without naming the countries known to be making the collections that rights advocates consider intrusive. It also calls on the world body's human rights commissioner, Navi Pillay, to report on "the protection and promotion of the right to privacy in the context of domestic and extraterritorial surveillance.
BUSINESS
October 16, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Facebook is lifting restrictions on teens to let them share more information publicly in a bid to regain the popularity it has lost to Twitter, Snapchat and other social networks. Teens ages 13 to 17 used to be able to only share information with friends or friends of friends. Now Facebook is giving them more control over what information they share publicly. "Teens," the company said in a blog post, "want to be heard. " With the new policy, teens' privacy settings will automatically only share information with friends but they will have the ability to change those settings.
BUSINESS
September 5, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Do Americans care about their online privacy? More and more. As they share more personal information on social networks and other online services, they are hankering for better control over who has access to that stockpile of intimate and telling details about their shopping habits, medical records and family photos. PHOTOS: Biggest tech flops of 2013 -- so far So says a new survey from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project.
BUSINESS
August 22, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Teens may be ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting privacy on mobile apps and devices. And the younger they are, the more cautious they are about their personal information online. That's according to a new survey from Pew Research Center's Internet project. It found that more than half of American teens have downloaded an app to a mobile phone or tablet computer, but more than half of those teens have avoided an app over privacy concerns. And 26% of teen apps users have uninstalled an app after learning it was collecting personal information they did not want to share.
BUSINESS
July 8, 2013 | By Marina Villeneuve
WASHINGTON - Internet groups complained Monday that new Federal Trade Commission regulations to protect children's privacy online are financially burdensome to start-up companies. Under regulations that went into effect July 1, websites catering to children will no longer be able to collect a range of identifying information without obtaining verifiable parental consent. The child protection regulations will now hold the owners of sites and apps frequented by children responsible for third-party services - such as plug-ins or ads - that collect personal information from visitors who say they're younger than 13. The third-party services will be held liable only if the FTC can prove they knowingly collected personal information from children.
REAL ESTATE
September 19, 1999 | From Inman News Features
If you decide to apply for a mortgage online, one thing you may be concerned about is privacy. You will, after all, be submitting a bevy of personal information through the Web. The Center for Democracy and Technology (http://www.cdt.com) believes your fears are well-founded. A recent survey by the privacy advocacy group suggests Web sites aren't doing enough to protect your data.
BUSINESS
January 28, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
Google is stepping up its fight to change federal law to make it more difficult for law enforcement to gain access to emails and other content stored on cloud services without a search warrant. The search giant, which says it gets about 1,400 requests a month from U.S. authorities for users' emails and documents, wants content in the cloud to have the same legal protection as documents stored on a hard drive or in a filing cabinet. Google, which has come under fire for its own treatment of people's data, used the occasion of Data Privacy Day to rally support.
BUSINESS
December 20, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
SAN FRANCISCO - In a major step to protect kids' online privacy, the Federal Trade Commission has unveiled new rules that require mobile apps and websites to obtain parental consent before collecting personal information from children. The agency's chairman, Jon Leibowitz, said Wednesday that federal regulators were trying to keep pace with the growing use of mobile devices by those under age 13 - and the rapidly evolving tactics and tracking tools of marketers and data brokers that collect detailed dossiers on Americans and their online activities.
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