At times, it can seem like technology is bringing us down …
We frequently hear about: cyberbullying of teens; online intellectual property infringement; various forms of identity theft, hacking, privacy and security violations, and cyber crime; cyber warfare; illegal sales of munitions and slaves and the organization of terrorist activities on the Dark Web; political email scandals; potential foreign Internet influence over US political elections; and the list goes on and on.
But during this Thanksgiving and holiday season, not only can we be thankful for our family and friends, we also can be grateful for the many benefits of technology.
Continue reading Thankful for Technology
Back at the dawn of the commercial Internet era in 2002, the Federal Trade Commission provided guidance to search engines in terms of differentiating between true search results and advertisements. However, over the past 11 years, the FTC has determined that search results and advertisements have become less distinguishable from each other.
Accordingly, in correspondence recently sent to major search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and AOL, the FTC has updated its 2002 guidance.
Continue reading FTC Updates Advertising Disclosure Guidance For Search Engines
Back in the day, President Bill Clinton touted the development of the “information superhighway,” and Vice President Al Gore not entirely accurately was reported to have stated that he had invented the Internet.
Since then, the Internet has exploded and grown exponentially. There have been many benefits, such as the potential to purchase a tremendous number of goods and services online, as well as the ability to communicate freely via social media portals such as Facebook and Twitter.
Continue reading White House Enlists Help To Get Hip To Cyber Legal Issues
Google has posted a “Transparency Report” that provides a range of how many National Security Letters (NSLs) it has received and a range of how many users/accounts were specified in these NSLs each year since 2009. Of course, your first question may be: What is an NSL?
An NSL is a special search vehicle by which the FBI has the authority to demand the disclosure of customer records maintained by banks, Internet Service Providers, telephone companies and other entities. When this happens, these entities are prohibited from revealing to others their receipt of an NSL. There have been reports that the issuance of NSLs has expanded significantly since the Patriot Act increased the FBI’s power to issue them.
Continue reading Google Transparency Reveals FBI’s Use Of National Security Letters
The FTC has issued a press release claiming that it has reached an agreement with Google to resolve competition concerns in the markets for smartphones, games, tablets, and online search.
The FTC states that pursuant to a settlement agreement, Google will comply with earlier promises to permit access to competitors on reasonable terms to patents on certain popular devices. And as a result of an independent commitment letter, Google will provide greater flexibility to online advertisers to manage advertisement campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and to make sure not to misappropriate content from vertical sites that target specific categories (such as travel) for offerings.
Continue reading Google, FTC Reach Agreement On Competition Issues
On August 9, 2012, the FTC announced that Google agreed to pay a record $22.5 million civil penalty to settle charges that it made misrepresentations to users of the Safari Internet browser when Google represented that it would not place cookies or serve targeted ads to those users. In doing so, Google violated an earlier privacy settlement it had with the FTC.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said “[t]he record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order. . . “[n]o matter how big or small, all companies must abide by FTC orders against them and keep their privacy promises to consumers, or they will end up paying many times what it would have cost to comply in the first place.”
Continue reading FTC Imposes a Record $22.5 Million Civil Penalty on Google for Privacy Misrepresentations
Thermos. Yo-Yo. Escalator. Zipper.
All are examples of trademarks that have seen their legal protection disappear in the United States. These innovative terms have over time become so associated with products that the terms are deemed generic and thus not necessarily deserving of intellectual property protection.
Is Google there now?
Continue reading Has “Google” Become A Generic Term?