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Online Privacy

Will FCC Allow Competition to Google’s & Facebook’s Advertising Monopolies?

Why is the FCC protecting and facilitating online advertising monopolies?

How can the FCC square its “competition, competition, competition” PR mantra with its regulatory plans for applying new anticompetitive privacy rules only on ISPs and not the “edge” online advertising monopolies -- Google and Facebook?

Simply as it relates to online advertising, the FCC’s new proposed Title II privacy rules would require ISPs with existing advertising businesses, or those planning to enter, compete, and grow in the online advertising market, to be subject to a new and special, privacy opt-in, consumer-consent framework where they alone in the marketplace would have to secure users’ advanced permission to use a majority of their data for advertising purposes.  

FCC Privacy Regulation Claims: “Believe it or not!”

With due credit to "Ripley's Believe it or Not!®,"so much odd and bizarre is happening at the FCC in the "name" of “privacy” that the topic calls for its own collection of: "Believe it or Not!®" oddities.

Title II Privacy Proposed Rules

The FCC claims consumer privacy is important, but preempted existing FTC privacy regulation of broadband providers before they had any replacement privacy protections in place, so U.S. broadband consumers have been left without any federal privacy protection for over a year! 

FCC Unequal ISP Privacy Policy Is Unequal Protection & Unequal Opportunity

The FCC’s just-passed, 3-2 unequal ISP privacy policy spotlights how badly the FCC has lost its way.

In prioritizing the equality rights of inanimate digital bits above the equal protection and equal opportunity rights the American people enjoy under our constitutional republic, the FCC is discriminating in favor of open cronyism over equal consumer protection and equal competitive opportunity.

Moody’s Investors Service has done everyone a service in exposing the FCC’s Title II reclassification and privacy policy for what it really is – arbitrary unequal treatment under the law.

When the FCC proposed these ISP privacy rules three weeks ago, Moody’s called the FCC’s proposal as it saw it in a Sector Comment March 14 entitled: “FCC’s broadband privacy proposal credit negative for linear TV and wireless providers – Over half a trillion in rated debt affected.” 

FCC’s AllVid Proposal Is Really The Great Google Ad Grab

While the PR cover story of the FCC’s AllVid proposal may be about more consumer choice and competition to reduce the cost of cable set-top boxes, don’t be fooled.

In announcing it, the FCC Chairman admits there’s already consumer choice aplenty: “American consumers enjoy unprecedented choice in how they view entertainment, news and sports programming. You can pretty much watch what you want, where you want, when you want.”

And the AllVid proposal is not about saving consumers money.

If it were, the FCC would not be shunning the obvious, best and cheapest solution of replacing the need for a set-top box entirely, by modernly and naturally transitioning them to the sector norm of easily-downloadable, cheap/free apps.

Google’s “Mass Indiscriminate Surveillance” Threat to US-EU Data Safe Harbor

Google’s ongoing mass indiscriminate surveillance of Europeans’ private activities could threaten quick resolution of the European Court of Justice’s ruling that the US-EU Data Safe Harbor was invalid given the NSA’s “mass indiscriminate surveillance” exposed by Edward Snowden.

Google’s unique, systematic defiance of European sovereignty on these matters could warrant specifically excluding Google from what could be a timely reconstitution of the US-EU Data Safe Harbor, so that one bad actor does not spoil the whole process for the thousands of companies that have respected their Data Safe Harbor responsibilities.

Google’s Open Defiance?

Why is the world’s leading crusader for openness and transparency so closed and non-transparent?

Why does Google fiercely defend the public’s right to know virtually everything about everyone else, but does not believe the public has any right to know similar things about Google?

Why is Google passionate about discovery of the world’s information, but so fierce in fighting legitimate discovery of Google information?

FCC’s New Do Not Track List Authority

Will the FCC create an Internet “Do Not Track” list like the FTC created the “Do Not Call” list enjoyed by three quarters of Americans?

In ruling the Internet to be subject to common carrier consumer protection law, the Obama FCC’s recently passed Open Internet Order applied common carrier privacy law (Section 222) to Internet telecommunications as part of the FCC’s unilateral efforts to modernize communications law for the 21st century.

The Obama FCC’s Open Internet Order also ruled that the Internet now encompasses the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and that an IP address is the functional equivalent of a telephone number.

Thus, logically it could follow that information that’s considered legally private in the telephone world now could be considered legally private in the Internet world.   

This central consumer protection question should come up this week as the FCC hosts a Section 222 public workshop to explore the FCC’s “role in protecting the privacy of consumers who use” the Internet.

What is Section 222?

It is a common carrier provision of the Communications Act entitled “Privacy of Customer Information.”

Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb – New White Paper on Google’s Data Dominance

 

[Note: Please find “Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb” White Paper -- here.]

The European Commission’s 28-month-old Google search Statement of Objections is out of date and myopic.

What’s changed since the May 2012 EC-Google search settlement baseline?

Google has extended its May 2012 billion-user search dominance, into three newly billion-user dominant platforms (mobile, video, and maps), resulting in new competition complaints of abuse of dominance and new potential EC investigations – with Google’s abuse of its data dominance a common thread.  

Snowden’s NSA-revelations have changed everyone’s awareness of Internet surveillance and the vulnerability of personal data, contributing to the passage of much stronger data-protection legislation by the European Parliament and to a European High Court ruling on Europeans’ right to be forgotten.

Why Settlements with Google Fail – Open Letter to New EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Unfortunately, the EC has learned the hard way. Settlements with Google don’t work.

First, Google’s leaders interpret DG-Comp’s publicly-signaled preference for a competition settlement over law enforcement to be a sign of sovereign weakness, and a lack of confidence in the EC’s sovereign resolve and law enforcement.

Second, Google’s leaders also interpret the EC’s repeated willingness to settle -- with no admission of Google wrongdoing/culpability and no meaningful penalty for past abuses of dominance – to practically mean that the EC’s sovereignty, rule of law and deterrent capability are all negotiable and open to surrender if Google pushes back hard enough.   

There is no other conclusion for Google’s leaders to reach. DG-Comp effectively surrendered its entire case three different times publicly: that Google is dominant, has abused its dominance, and warrants a fine and changed behavior.

In addition to that capitulation and pardon from responsibility for past abuses of dominance, DG-Comp also agreed to surrender the EC’s future sovereign authority to investigate Google search for five more years – almost the entire term of the next European Commission.

Google Android Dominates by Cheating Data Protection

Google-Android sacrifices users’ security, privacy and data protection to scale Android fastest so that Google can dominate mobile software and advertising.

This charge and analysis is timely and relevant because Reuters is reporting that European Commission competition authorities are “laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.”

The purpose of this particular analysis is to help a user better understand how they are harmed by Google-Android’s disregard for data protection.

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Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths