Reminder: The Constitution Protects Innovators, Too

This week, some businesses filed a constitutional challenge against Utah’s new law restricting license plate recognition technologies. The lawsuit, filed by NetChoice members DRN and Vigilant, seeks a critical precedent that would remind state legislatures that the Constitution protects innovators– just as it protects other citizens.

The businesses filing this suit offer license plate recognition (LPR) technology and services.  We first wrote about this last July, describing the LPR witch-hunt being run by privacy advocates. Read more

Target Breach Notice

The Cost of Collateral Damage from Data Breaches

Consumers come first.  The theft of data affecting thousands of shoppers from the servers of Target and Nieman Marcus could harm individuals. And the threat of identity theft has exploded, rising by more than 50 percent from 2005 through 2010.

Media and policymakers are right to focus on customer plight.  But we shouldn’t forget that data theft also costs retailers too and we shouldn’t resort to new legislation that penalizes the victim.

With any data breach, businesses face the obvious damage to trust and consumer confidence.  Consumers start shopping at competitors and become skeptical of loyalty cards.  But there’s also the monetary cost of a data breach cutting a business’s ability to meet investor expectations, grow and create jobs. Read more


Cyber Monday Success Argues Against Radical New Internet Tax

Cyber Monday 2013 was an unprecedented success for everyone involved  – including state tax collectors.  So why are we still arguing about new Internet tax schemes?

According to most estimates, Cyber Monday sales were up nearly 20 percent from 2012, a jump made even more impressive by the otherwise plodding pace of our economic recovery.

For consumers, Cyber Monday was an opportunity to get great deals, away from the massive – and sometimes dangerous crowds at the stores on Black Friday. For online retailers, it was the biggest sales day of the year.  And for tax collectors, Cyber Monday was a massive infusion of cash. Read more


Illusions of Safety

Some US Senators this week lurched towards yet another false oasis in the Great Internet Safety Desert. Once again, their misguided search for the kids privacy oasis has the potential to cause far more harm than good.

Under the proposed law, kids will have to get their parent’s permission to participate in major websites until they are 16 years old. Yes, that’s right, the same year most young adults can operate a 2,000 pound vehicle on their own will be the same year they can also freely use websites like Google Maps or services like FourSquare. Read more