The April 2014 iAWFUL

  1. Making it harder to get advertisers to pay for free online services and content – States are considering laws to restrict interest-based advertising that today supports free online services and content.
  1. Data Breach Notification – Following high-profile hacking of data held by Target, states are rushing to pass new data breach notice laws.  But forcing businesses to issue broad and rushed notices could impede investigations.  And the quantity of notices will desensitize consumers to situations where a notice truly does merit their immediate attention.
  1. Discouraging teens from thinking before they post – So-called ‘eraser button’ bills actually encourage teens to be careless about posting inappropriate content, because they mislead teens to think they can erase what others have posted, too.
  1. Limiting innovation in education – Schools should focus on safety, security, and educational innovation while protecting student privacy protection from actual threats.  But state legislation would make it harder for service providers to: identify students having difficulty learning; inform parents and teachers about bullying in school; and flag students that might pose harm to themselves or others.
  1. Internet Sales Tax – The ongoing threat of federal legislation would give new tax and audit powers to state tax collectors, threatening online businesses everywhere.
  1. Requiring teens to get parental permission to use online services like maps and weather – Proposed bills would require parental consent before a seventeen-year old could use basic resources like Google Maps or Yahoo Weather.
  1. Empowering courts over consumers – Allowing a court-appointed executor to counter your express wishes about how your online accounts are handled when you die.
  1. Scaring stores away from embracing pro-consumer mobile technologies – Some state lawmakers want to mandate warning signs in stores that use new technology that’s aware of mobile devices. These warning signs will alarm consumers and suppress adoption of new technology that helps stores send deals to returning customers — even where the customer downloaded an app for that very purpose.
  1. New limits on First Amendment rights – New bills limiting digital photos of license plates would violate the first amendment and impair law enforcement investigations that save lives and solve crimes.
  1. Putting children’s privacy at risk with email registriesBills requiring a do-not-email registry jeopardizes the privacy of minors while imposing new fees on markets and restaurants using email marketing.

The iAWFUL reflects the editorial views of the Executive Director of NetChoice and does not necessarily reflect the views of all NetChoice members.

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