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Monday, June 18, 2012

Facebook settles on $10 million payment for Sponsored Stores lawsuit

Posted by Jim Bernstein

If you are a Facebook user I’m sure you have seen those advertisements that have one of your friends names in it stating that they “like” that product or service and showing their profile picture next to the ad. These ads make a recommendation for that product or service from your friend but the catch is that your friend actually did not recommend the product or service. Plus your friend doesn’t get any compensation from the advertiser for them using their name and picture for the ad and they don’t even know that they are being used in this way.

Five California residents sued Facebook over this practice stating that it violates California law and the case was actually settled last month but just now made public. According to the lawsuit, this could have included one of every three Americans and could have been a huge payment for many people if more lawsuits were to follow. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh found that Facebook's Sponsored Stories could cause "economic injury" by using friends' names, likenesses and pictures. She ordered a cy-pres settlement, meaning Facebook's $10 million would be sent to charity.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Internet Explorer 10 to use the Do Not Track setting as its default

 Posted by David Bernstein

As I’m sure you know, Windows 8 is almost here and that means a new version of the Internet Explorer web browser will be here as well and Windows 8 will include version 10 of IE. But this time IE 10 will be the first browser to have the Do Not Track setting turned on by default.

The Do Not Track feature prevents 3rd party websites from tracking your online activity. Sites that receive the Do Not Track signal from your browser are supposed to honor that request and therefore not track your activity. This feature has been an option that you can enable manually but many people don’t know how to do it or even realize that the option exists. If it’s enabled by default then way more people will be using private browsing than ever before.

This may be good for IE end users since most people don’t like to be tracked but others are not too happy about it. The advertising industry for example likes to track where you go in order to help them know what your shopping habits or interests may be but Brendan Lynch who is the Chief Privacy Officer at Microsoft says that Microsoft's is trying to advance trust and consumer privacy online and that people come first.