Indiana Law Might Result in Very Low NASCAR Viewership

NASCAR and other professional sports are littered with advertisements for beer and cars.  But a proposed Indiana law aims to prevent children from seeing these advertisements if contained in an email.  Which is it Indiana?  Do you not want children to see ads for beer and cars, or do you want to host the Sprint Cup Series?

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For Privacy, “Where’s the Beef?’ becomes “Where’s the Harm?’

Remember that Wendy’s commercial asking, “Where’s the beef?” When it comes to proposals for new online privacy laws, we’ve been asking,”Where’s the harm?”

Today we put that question to FTC Chairman Leibowitz after he spoke to the Brookings Institute. Read more

New Rolling Stones Lyrics: Getting What You Want AND What You Need

The Rolling Stones said it best, “You can’t always get what you want, but sometimes you get what you need.”  But according to a new study, Internet users are getting what they need and what they want.

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The Facts Speak for Themselves on Privacy for Social Networking Sites

Res ipsa loquitor means “the facts speak for themselves.”  However, for quite some time, it’s been difficult to obtain straight facts on privacy issues since they came from loaded questions.  But a new Pew Research Institute study shows that social networking sites provide significant public good, and that if consumers are concerned about using such sites, as privacy groups like Common Sense Media suggest, consumers’ actions do not reflect such concerns.

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Gratitude for Golden State Senators

Kudos to the 23Thank-You-sign state Senators who stopped California’s misguided attempt to “save the Internet”.

Their votes to scuttle S. 242 is a welcome reversal of self-destructive behavior from a state that’s become its own worst enemy, in spite of having the world’s only real golden goose — the innovative and empowering companies of Silicon Valley. Read more

A Gift for the Man Who Has Everything

Today, a distinguished US Senator who was once concerned that the Internet had become the “number one national hazard” held a hearing on online privacy.   During the hearing, Senator John Rockefeller (WV) added these informed judgments on ad-supported Internet innovation and business models:

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The Google-Buzz settlement: a buzzkill for online services

The comment period just ended for the FTC’s proposed consent decree with Google over privacy violations when Google launched their Buzz social network last year.   There were about 30 comments posted, but the most important comment we’ve seen is by reporter Grant Gross in his IDG News piece, “Google Buzz Settlement a ‘killer’ for E-commerce”.

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$80 Billion Tab for a "Free Lunch"

We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Everything comes at a price, including free Internet content and web services, nearly all of which are paid for by advertisers.

Proponents of “Do Not Track” legislation talk about giving consumers what they want, but nobody is asking whether consumers want to start paying the price — if advertisers won’t pay the bills anymore.

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Do Americans Really Want Do Not Track?

Iawful LogoWe often hear politicians say, “Americans need this” and “Americans demand that.”  But before Congress passes new privacy laws to regulate online advertising, let’s be honest about what Americans really want.


As we described in iAWFUL last week,Federal legislation to mandate Do Not Track would cut deeply into the online
advertising revenue that pays for free content and services and funds so much Internet innovation.  We need an honest discussion of the impact of Do Not Track.  But what we hear from Capitol Hill is politically charged rhetoric and misrepresented surveys and statistics to justify predetermined agendas. Read more

Updated iAWFUL List Ranks Top Threats to Online Commerce

Today we published our March 2011 “iAWFULIawful Logolist of bad Internet laws.  We identified a surge in state and federal online privacy legislation that is threatening to tie the hands of online innovators.   (iAWFUL was already picked-up in CNET, Politico, The Hill, and

Our Internet Advocates’ Watchlist for Ugly Laws (iAWFUL) tracks the 10 pieces of state and federal  legislation that pose the greatest threat to the Internet and e-commerce.  Read more