Monday, April 25, 2011

Get Your Data Back

Here is a guiding principle: If a business collects data on consumers electronically, it should provide them with a version of that data that is easy to download and export to another Web site. Think of it this way: you have lent the company your data, and you’d like a copy for your own use.

Location Tracking

Google said Friday that it collected location data from Android phones, but that it did so anonymously and with user consent. The company said it gathered the data to provide services like maps and searches for shops or restaurants near a person’s location. The company said it also used the information to estimate traffic on various roads.

“Phones know where you are, and they need to for many of the services we offer,” said Mike Nelson, a Google spokesman.

Full Story Here.

Mobile Google

Google said in October that mobile ads were on track to generate $1 billion in revenue in the coming year. Mobile users can call a business from within a Google ad or receive coupons for nearby stores. They can take cellphone photos of movie posters to pull up a trailer. With new technologies like near-field communication, advertisers could reward customers with loyalty gifts for walking into stores, Mr. Temsamani said.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Poker Play

"IN ANOTHER era, Daniel Tzvetkoff would have been whacked - shot or garroted, buried in a shallow grave or sent to sleep with the fishes. The world's two biggest online gambling companies, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars, which want the $US100 million they believe the former Gold Coast high-flyer took from them, don't work that way.

They send their lawyers. Or they just wait. But Tzvetkoff, incredibly, has used his position from inside a US jail to, first, free himself, and then go on the offensive against the very people who are chasing him.

The Queensland internet entrepreneur, 28, was mysteriously bailed from a US federal prison last August. He has rolled to save his neck.

US federal prosecutors are using Tzvetkoff's unique inside knowledge of how big online gambling companies shift money out of the US in exchange for a sweet deal."

See Courier Mail front page story

"ASSOCIATES of former internet high-flyer Daniel Tzvetkoff have been charged after a flurry of arrests in the US over illegal online gaming following his release last year from a New York prison.

US judges have sealed the files on Mr Tzvetkoff's criminal case, after he was secretly released from prison -- without a bail hearing -- on charges he was involved in a $500 million money-laundering scheme for illegal online poker sites.

Secrecy now surrounds the former Gold Coast-based entrepreneur's movements, with prosecutors refusing to disclose if they are going ahead with the charges that carry a 24-year jail term."

The Australian

The owners of three of the largest Internet poker companies operating in the United States were accused Friday of tricking regulators and banks into processing billions of dollars of illegal Internet gambling proceeds.

Eleven people including the owners of Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and PokerStars were charged with violating anti-Internet gambling laws, according to charges filed by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.

Prosecutors also filed a civil money laundering complaint seeking to recover at least $3 billion from the companies, which are all based overseas, court documents said.

In addition, according to the government statement, restraining orders were issued against more than 75 bank accounts used by the poker companies and their payment processors. And the Internet domain names of the companies were also seized.

NY Times

Friday, April 08, 2011

Social Media Alarm Bells

See The Age

In an age in which one negative online review can destroy brands, social media has become one of the top risks keeping C-level executives up at night, a survey of 446 major Australian corporations and public sector organisations has found.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hilton Hacked

From an email from Hilton Hotels:

Dear Customer:

We were notified by our database marketing vendor, Epsilon, that we are among a group of companies affected by a data breach. How will this affect you? The company was advised by Epsilon that the files accessed did not include any customer financial information, and Epsilon has stressed that the only information accessed was names and e-mail addresses. The most likely impact, if any, would be receipt of unwanted e-mails. We are not aware at this time of any unsolicited e-mails (spam) that are related, but as a precaution, we want to remind you of a couple of tips that should always be followed:

• Do not open e-mails from senders you do not know

• Do not share personal information via e-mail

List of Cases

The EFF has an interesting list of U.S. Internet law cases. See

Week 7: Liability of ISPs and Infrastructure Providers

This class deals with liability of intermediaries. For example, is an ISP liable for the conduct of its users? Is a web hosting company liable for the content of others that it hosts? Is TripAdvisor liable for reviews of hotels posted by users? Is Google liable for the content that appears on this blog?

Should such intermediaries be liable for the actions of others?

The main reading for the class is the iiNet case:

Google Buys Nortel's patent portfolio


Bankrupt Nortel Networks Corp. has accepted Google Inc.'s $900 million stalking horse bid to buy an intellectual property lode of some 6,000 patents and patent applications that include wireless, data networking and semiconductor technology, the Internet giant said Monday.

See BBC and Google Blog