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Privacy Policy

February 15, 2012 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Twitter Inc. said that to help users find friends also using the service, it retrieves entire address book from users' smartphones, including names, email addresses and phone numbers, and keeps the data on its servers for 18 months. After questions about the practice, the company said it plans to update its apps to clarify that user contacts are being stored. Twitter's privacy policy does not explicitly disclose that the company downloads and stores user address books. The policy does say that Twitter users "may customize your account with information such as … your address book so that we can help you find Twitter users you know.
February 12, 2012 | By James Rainey
Traditional media outlets “have had little success” getting advertisers to move from their legacy businesses to their online news sites and relatively few of the ads they create for the Web are targeted to customers based on their interests, according to a new study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The struggle of traditional news organizations to adapt to the online world “throws into question the financial future of journalism as audiences continue to migrate online,” according to the group, an arm of the Pew Research Center.
February 10, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Google is rebutting charges that its new privacy policy violates a settlement it struck with federal regulators last year. The Internet search giant told the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that its policy complies with the settlement, according to a self-assessment report the company handed over in January. The report, obtained by Politico Friday, says Google has gone to “exceptional lengths” to tell its users what data it harvests and what it does with it. Google settled charges last year that it violated privacy laws by exposing Gmail users' personal information when rolling out its now-defunct Google Buzz social networking service.
February 9, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
A federal court has agreed to speed up a case that could delay the rollout of Google's new privacy policy. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy watchdog, is suing the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over the controversial new policy, which it says will allow the Internet search giant to harvest more information about Google's users in violation of a settlement it struck with federal regulators last year. The court gave the FTC until Feb. 17 to respond to two briefs EPIC filed Wednesday.
February 8, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, This post has been updated, as indicated below
A privacy watchdog has filed a federal lawsuit against the Federal Trade Commission in a bid to stop Google from rolling out its new privacy policy. In an unusual legal maneuver, the Electronic Privacy Information Center is asking a federal judge to issue a temporary restraining order and injunction that would require the FTC to enforce the consent order it reached with Google last year. Google settled with the FTC on charges that it deceived users and violated its own privacy policy when it launched the now defunct Buzz social network.
July 12, 2011 | By Julie Wernau
Groupon Inc. is changing its privacy policies to allow it to collect more information as it offers more deals targeted to users based on their locations. The Chicago deal site announced the changes in an email to its 83 million subscribers Sunday, saying that the new policies are part of an effort to provide greater transparency about the way it handles private information about users. The announcements come as the company seeks to go public and on the heels of its launch of Groupon Now, a mobile service that provides instant deals based on a user's location.
April 19, 2011 | By David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
Yahoo Inc. said it would begin keeping records of its users' search engine queries for at least 18 months, abandoning an earlier policy in which it kept data for much shorter periods. The retention of search term histories, which can encompass personal topics such as medical conditions or financial issues, has long been a tense topic in debates over digital privacy. Yahoo said Monday that the decision was made to keep pace with online competitors. "Over the past several years it's clear that the Internet has changed, our business has changed, and the competitive landscape has changed," Anne Toth, a policy executive at Yahoo, wrote in a blog post.
April 2, 2011
When Google launched Google Buzz last year in a bid to challenge Facebook and Twitter, it drew an angry backlash from consumers and privacy advocates who complained that the company had disclosed potentially sensitive personal information about users without their knowledge. That misstep, which Google quickly corrected, has now turned into a step forward for consumer privacy. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Google that establishes two important new principles about what companies must do before disclosing their customers' personal details.
March 31, 2011 | By Jim Puzzanghera and David Sarno, Los Angeles Times
With social networking emerging as the most potent force on the Internet, federal regulators are moving to limit how companies can exploit personal information. Google Inc. just became Exhibit A. In a settlement hailed as the first of its kind, the Federal Trade Commission said Google had agreed to strict new measures to protect the privacy of its users. Moreover, the company agreed to submit to independent audits for the next 20 years to ensure that it is following the rules.
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