Internet Safety For Kids

These days, kids get online at a younger age than ever before. There are some very useful things kids can do online, such as learning, research, educational games, and more. The internet is also something that need to be approached carefully for young users. There are plenty of cyber threats such as scams, identity theft, inappropriate content, and other dangerous things online that kids need to stay away from. With Read More

Menhart Quoted on Do-Not-Track

  I was recently quoted on the FTC's proposed "Do Not Track" list in the Maryland Daily Record (subscription required). The proposed "Do Not Track" list is a follow-up proposal in light of the success of the "Do Not Call" list. The proposal would allow consumers to notify advertisers that they do not want their personal information shared for online marketing purposes. The article discusses a variety of viewpoints as Read More

Can You Remove Facebook or Twitter Posts?

I am often contacted by potential clients that discover that ostensibly “private” information on social networks, particularly Facebook and Twitter, has become public, often to the potential client’s detriment. The content has often become public because a third-party, including other Facebook or Twitter users, or a third party blog, reposts the information, often in a negative light. Content of concern to Read More

Defining an Intercept under Wiretap Act

  The media has picked up on a case in the 9th Circuit that examines the definition of an “intercept” under the Wiretap Act. The district court judge in Bunnell v. Motion Picture Association of America found that a hacker had not “intercepted” messages when he simply copied messages being sent via company servers to a Google Mail account. The judge ruled that because the hacker “did not stop or seize” the Read More

Bill Protects IT Health Privacy

  A new bill, entitled “Technologies for Restoring Users' Security and Trust” (TRUST) in Health Information Act, has been introduced as House Resolution 5442. The bill regulates the use of information technology within the American health care system and seeks to protect the privacy and security of patient medical information. According to Congressman Markey, one of the bill’s sponsors, Read More

Suicide, Cyberbullying & Cybervigilantes

  The Washington Post has a feature on the story of Megan Meier, the girl who committed suicide based on messages she received from a group of cyberbullies. The feature tells the entire story of the saga from start to end, and nicely illustrates the mentality and organization of online groups with questionable intentions.   Also of interest is the limited statutory options prosecutors had in Read More

FTC Proposes Online Behavioral Ad Principles

  To address important consumer privacy concerns associated with online behavioral advertising, the Federal Trade Commission recently released a set of proposed principles for advertisers to follow.   The “principles” include (a) that web sites that collect behavioral data should prominently display this fact and give consumers the option to “opt-out” of the collection, (b) any data that is collected Read More

Data Thefts and Breaches Rising

  Organizations that maintain personal data are spending more money and time on improving security, but many are finding that investments are too late or insufficient.   Various watchdog groups report that the number of compromised records in 2007 reached 162 million records worldwide. The groups reported that 2007 was a record year for the number of privacy security breaches.   While the Read More

Cellular Tracking Raises Privacy Concerns

  E911 location tracking, a service initially mandated by the federal government of wireless providers to track missing persons and for other purposes, is now being used by the wireless providers to earn a profit. Sprint Nextel provides a "loopt" that sends an alert when a friend is near, and Verizon’s Chaperone service allows parents to set up a "geofence" around a defined area and receive Read More

Do Not Track List Proposed for Advertisers

  Seeking to follow the successful example of the FTC’s “Do Not Call” list, a variety of privacy groups have now proposed a “Do Not Track” list that seeks to create a list for consumers that would prefer to “opt-out” of being tracked for behavioral marketing campaigns.   The proposal surmises that consumers would want to avoid having their online activities monitored for marketing purposes and Read More