Archive for the ‘Trade’ tag
Google has been hit with the biggest fine in the history of the Federal Trade Commission: $22.5 million. It has to do with cookies, bits of computer code placed on your browser when you visit a website. Read more » about Google Gets Slammed with the Biggest FTC Fine Ever
Facebook and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission officially finalized a privacy settlement today after a period of “public comment.”
Today’s news comes after a period of public comment that was instated by the FTC in November.
In other news, Google settled its suit with the FTC Thursday. The search giant agreed to pay $22.5 million in fines, the largest fine ever given to a single company by the FTC.
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Federal Trade Commission Fines Google $22.5 Million for Safari Privacy Violations (The New York Times/Bits Blog)
The Federal Trade Commission fined Google $22.5 million on Thursday to settle charges that it had bypassed privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser to be able to track users of the browser and show them advertisements, and violated an earlier privacy settlement with the agency. The fine is the largest civil penalty ever levied by the commission, which has been cracking down on tech companies for privacy violations and is also investigating Google for antitrust violations. San Francisco Chronicle “The record-setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “No 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.” Reuters Companies such as Google and Facebook rely on collecting user data for a large part of their revenue, but lawmakers and privacy advocates have argued that tech companies are generally not doing enough to safeguard customer privacy. Both Google, the world’s No. 1 search engine, and Facebook, the No. 1 social networking site, last year agreed to 20 years of audits to ensure consumers’ privacy after the FTC found they had engaged in deceptive privacy practices. Wired Safari, which accounts for about 6 percent of desktop browsing and more than 50 percent of mobile browsing, is the only major browser to block so-called third-party cookies by default. When you visit a website, all browsers by default, including Safari, allow that site to put a small tracking file on your computer, which allows the site to identify a unique user, track what they’ve done and remember settings. PC Magazine Rumors of the $22.5 million settlement first cropped up in June, but the issue dates back to February. At that point, a Stanford University graduate student, Jonathan Mayer, released a report that accused Google and three other ad networks of side-stepping the privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser to track usage on iPhones and Macs without permission. continued…
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Google zal 25,5 miljoen dollar (18,3 miljoen euro) betalen aan de Amerikaanse Federal Trade Commission voor het omzeilen van de Do Not Track-functie in de Safari-browser van Apple.
Google today agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charge that it bypassed Safari’s privacy settings to serve targeted ads to consumers. Google placed these cookies on Safari users’ computers, despite the fact that, as the FTC notes, “Google had previously told these users they would automatically be opted out of such tracking, as a result of the default settings of the Safari browser used in Macs, iPhones and iPads.” This, according to the FTC, was in direct violation of the earlier privacy settlement between Google and the FTC.
The FTC’s charge focused on the fact that Google exploited a loophole in Safari to place cookies on its users’ computers even though Safari, by default, blocks cookies from third-party sites. As the WSJ reported earlier this year, Safari makes an exception for cookies from sites that users interacted with before by, for example, filling out a form. To place its ad tracking cookies, Google tricked Safari into believing that users were submitting a form to Google and the browser would then allow Google to install its temporary ad tracking cookies.
The existence of today’s fine was first reported last week, but wasn’t official until today. Given that this is a settlement, it’s important to note that today’s “consent order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated.”
Despite these legal details, the FTC is clearly looking at this settlement as a success. “The record setting penalty in this matter sends a clear message to all companies under an FTC privacy order,” said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC. “No 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.” One could easily argue, though, that paying a $22.5 million fee isn’t exactly a problem for Google, which had an operating income of over $3 billion last quarter.
We asked Google for a statement regarding today’s announcement. Here is Google’s response:
We set the highest standards of privacy and security for our users. The FTC is focused on a 2009 help center page published more than two years before our consent decree, and a year before Apple changed its cookie-handling policy. We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers.
Google has until February 15, 2014 to expire all of the cookies involved in today’s settlement.
Today’s guest post is written by Crosby Noricks.
The fashion PR industry has a pretty interesting story to tell if you can look beyond the Avant-Garde (unwearable) runway creations to the clusters of people backstage, dressed in black, with clipboards, walkie-talkies, and this season’s must-have manicure.
The issue lies in the disconnect between what students are being taught, and where they want to apply their skills.
To the point, the industry is doing innovative things with content, social media, blogging, and more.
While not a complete list, following are six things happening in the industry right now.
- Mercedes Benz Fashion Week brings in more than $40 million to New York each year.
- Fashion brands such as Burberry (who recently celebrated 10 million Facebook likes) are becoming storytellers in their own right, producing some of the most innovative and effective digital campaigns reaching a multitude of audiences, such as Art of The Trench.
- To stay relevant, fashion publications are evolving as well. Lucky released a Spotify playlist and has moved into the daily deal space. Vogue produces digital-only editorial content. They provide opportunities for readers to get closer to the action, such as live streaming the Met Gala and taking reader questions.
- Fashion blogging is mega-business. Refinery29, a localized, fashion, beauty, and shopping blog is estimated to be worth $20 million after six years in business.
- Mega-publicist Kelly Cutrone has embraced authorship and reality TV, dispensing her now-signature blend of career advice, spiritual healing, and eff-you attitude to the millennial MTV generation.
- Aliza Licht’s evolution from the Twitter handle @DKNYPRGirl to simply @DKNY, not to mention 385K Twitter followers demonstrates the PR department can become as much a beacon of the brand as the brand itself.
However, pick up any PR textbook and browse through the case studies, examples, and expert quotes and what are you likely to find? You’ll see the majority of content to cover corporate campaigns specific to a handful of verticals, namely healthcare, technology, and automotive.
The same is true for PR journals and often, trade publications. It’s an unfortunate situation because, for better or worse, there is a consistent interest among today’s current crop of communications undergraduates to pursue public relations careers in distinctly different industries such as entertainment, sports, lifestyle, and fashion.
In the five years since launching PR Couture, I have received countless emails from frustrated, uninspired students who have had little opportunity to put what they are learning in class toward projects and companies they care about.
If you’re hungry for more on the fashion PR industry, add these five additional sites to your reading list.
- Women’s Wear Daily – the fashion industry trade du-jour.
- Fashionista – consumer-friendly fashion news with an industry spin.
- Fashionably Marketing Me – a treasure trove of fashion marketing campaign examples and tech trends.
- DKNY PR Blog – If nothing else, you’ll get a kick out of Aliza’s amazing PR 101 posts. We’ve all been there.
- The High Low – Backed by Liz Claiborne, this industry blog covers retail trends with a focus on e-commerce.
While certainly some are dazzled by the allure of free swag, partying with celebrities, and jet-setting from one fashion week to another, still many more have a true passion, respect, and love for the fashion industry, and want to be a part of it.
By assuming such a narrow definition of what PR is, where it happens, and who the people are doing it, we do undergraduates a disservice.
I’d love to hear from you – agree? disagree?
Crosby Noricks is the founder of PR Couture, a blog that explores public relations, marketing, and social media in the fashion industry. She also is director of social media for Red Door Interactive. And she is author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR. She enjoys taking the train, listening to the Vicky Christina Barcelona soundtrack and pretending she is in Europe instead of Southern California, which she did while writing this article. You can get in touch with Crosby on Twitter at PR_Couture or via email.
Google is about to write a very big check to the Federal Trade Commission.
The fine comes after Google was charged with violating a 2011 agreement with the FTC by installing tracking cookies in Apple’s Safari browser. According to the agreement, Google wasn’t allowed to misrepresent to consumers how it collected user data. But by installing the tracking cookies the FTC alleges that Google did just that.
Reports of the settlement emerged last month, though at the time it wasn’t clear whether Google would agree to pay it.
Not an indication that Google violated the law, nor a particularly large amount of money, the fine is meant to send a clear message to companies under FTC supervision.
“No 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,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement.
Basically, the FTC wants companies to know that it has some teeth, and that it plans to take agreement violations very seriously in the future.
Echoing previous responses verbatim, a Google spokesperson told VentureBeat that Google is dedicated to setting high standards of privacy and security for its users.
“We have now changed that page and taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple’s browsers,” the spokesperson said.
Filed under: VentureBeat
In an attempt to give the mobile payments industry some guidance, the trade group Electronic Transactions Association today announced the Mobile Payments Committee, a task force that includes representatives from all four of the major U.S. carriers, as well as others developing mobile payments solutions.
Chaired by Jackie Moran, Verizon’s executive director of federal relations, the committee will serve as a way to develop policy and business strategy for the mobile payments industry. Among the issues the committee is tackling, it will help participants figure out the complex business relationships necessary to make mobile payment options interoperable; help legislators and regulators understand how to develop mobile payments public policy; and educate consumers and merchants about the benefits of mobile payments.
“Our industry must work collaboratively to ensure that the regulatory and business environment promotes innovation and cooperation,” ETA Chief Executive Officer Jason Oxman said in a statement today. “As the trade association of the payments industry, ETA is the hub of activity in mobile payments, and our Mobile Payments Committee will help ensure that consumers and merchants have access to an efficient, reliable, and secure mobile payments system.”
Mobile payments tech feels a lot like the Wild West right now, with competing standards, hardware, and goals, it makes sense for the industry to come together to figure out broader solutions. After all, their biggest challenge is still ahead of them: convincing consumers that they should give a damn about mobile payments.
AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are all joining the ETA to take part in the committee, which should hopefully put an end to carrier exclusive payments offerings (like Sprint’s Google Wallet arrangement). Other companies in the Mobile Payments Committee include Google, Isis (itself a union between several carriers), PayPal, Verifone, and Intuit.
The committee will meet for the first time later this month, the ETA says.
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