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March 21, 2008

The Only Way It’s Going To Get Traction [1:43 pm]

A Push to Limit the Tracking of Web Surfers’ Clicks

AFTER reading about how Internet companies like Google, Microsoft and Yahoo collect information about people online and use it for targeted advertising, one New York assemblyman said there ought to be a law.

So he drafted a bill, now gathering support in Albany, that would make it a crime — punishable by a fine to be determined — for certain Web companies to use personal information about consumers for advertising without their consent.

And because it would be extraordinarily difficult for the companies that collect such data to adhere to stricter rules for people in New York alone, these companies would probably have to adjust their rules everywhere, effectively turning the New York legislation into national law.

Of course, that last paragraph just means that the federal government will pre-empt whatever they come up with. But it’s a start.

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The Emerging Consensus on the FCC’s Latest Auction [8:29 am]

It didn’t work, at least not from the perspective of getting new competitors in the game — Verizon, AT & T win big in airwave auctionpdf

“It was the only place on the wireless spectrum where you could possibly have a third pipe, and they didn’t get that. That’s a big failure,” said Ben Scott, Washington policy director of Free Press, a nonprofit group opposed to media consolidation.

Industry experts said it was hardly a surprise.

“It amazes me that people think that when you have networks already in the ground, new companies can just come in and have a chance,” said wireless researcher and consultant Andrew Seybold.

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