Policy Articles

Facebook Needs To Follow And Not Lead On Privacy Policies

I took last week off, and it was a big week for Facebook watchers. Facebook decided to change its terms of service, putting its millions of users on notice that Facebook owns their data and isn’t planning any opt-out mechanism. Now, to many observers, including Chris Brogan and me, it’s not news that free Web services own the data posted to them, but this Facebook announcement caused a firestorm, and Facebook backed off before the week was out. Watching this play out caused me to realize why Facebook is dumber than Google.

Google Asks Feds For Better Document Access

The numerous agencies of the federal government possess thousands of documents and pieces of information that can’t be found by Google’s crawlers.

Google Aggressively Cracking Down on Paid Links

After many instances of education by Google about Paid Link Policy guidelines and after having continuously come up with updates on the issue, the time for action seems to have come full on.

Google, as it appears has aggressively begun to crack down on Ads that violate Google’s quality guideline of "paid links should be disclosed through a "rel=nofollow."

Google Will Bid On Spectrum

Google will bid in the upcoming 700MHz wireless spectrum auction, the company announced this morning. Run by the Federal Communications Commission, the auction is scheduled to begin on January 24, and could run until March.

Google’s Policy on Paid Links
On Webmaster Help Center Google discretely specifies the policy pertaining to "Paid Links".

YouTube Debates Feature Republicans Tonight

After Democratic candidates answered questions submitted through YouTube in July, their Republican counterparts agreed to participate in the same format.

Senate Considers Better Spidering As Law

Federal agencies may have the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) helping guide their efforts to make web information more accessible to search engines.

Whole Foods Tightens Online Posting Policy

Remember Whole Foods, and how the strange man who serves as its CEO secretly criticized an acquisition target?  Well, Whole Foods’s board of directors seems to feel it would be best if John Mackey – and all other executives – kept their mouths shut and fingers still.

Google Wrestles With EU Privacy Discussion

Privacy considerations for Internet users suffer from a lack of a global standard, leaving it to companies to try and figure out what they should be doing.

Major Sites Taking PageRank Hits
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Google is penalizing some big-name publications and blogs, including the Washington Post, Forbes, and Engadget. Over two dozen have seen their toolbar PageRank drop by a factor of 2 to 4 overnight.

Google Complains About Censorship Charge
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After blowing away ads aimed at criticizing MoveOn.org by name, Google’s public policy wonks fired back and asserted that trademarks, not politics, played a role.

Google v. Microsoft: DoubleClaws Come Out
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Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick is a complicated issue, and a contentious one. The Antitrust Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee meets later this week to get a better look at the online advertising space, and as that approaches, both sides of this debate are getting testy.

What’s a Good Privacy Policy?

I wrote a few days ago about privacy policies and got several people asking, "So who has a good privacy policy? Well, lots of companies have good privacy policies, but I think what people really want to know is "Who has made their privacy policy a marketing asset?" That narrows the field considerably.

Senate Prepares Grill For Google
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Google’s proposed purchase of DoubleClick has drawn the scrutiny of privacy advocates, the Federal Trade Commission, and now a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.

Google, DoubleClick Deal Challenged Again

The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), US PIRG, and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), discussed the proposed merger at a National Press Club meeting in Washington. They have filed a supplement to their original complaint about Google’s proposed $3.1 billion buy of ad network DoubleClick.

Google Calls Out Verizon Over Lawsuit

Verizon Wireless has sued to prevent the eventual winner of the 700MHz wireless spectrum from conforming with FCC requirements for open devices and applications.

Google Says No To Net Taxes

The current Internet tax moratorium placed by Congress expires in November, leading Google to join a coalition of firms asking for that policy to become permanent.

Google Challenged On Patent Reform Stance

The latest contribution to the Google Public Policy blog, on the topic of patent reform and Google’s stance, received a pointed rebuttal from a Brookings Institution guest scholar.

Google Says It’s Time To Turn Japanese
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Phone and cable companies are losing the Net Neutrality debate, and losing it badly. And Google’s Washington Telecom and Media Counsel Richard Whitt doesn’t mind pointing that out.

AdSense Blog Reveals Odd Banking Policy
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An otherwise mild write-up of how Google sends checks to AdSense publishers for their earnings has a strange twist that hints at a relationship with Citibank that defies common banking practices.

Schmidt Talks Freedom; China Still Out Of Luck

Google CEO Eric Schmidt ascended to the Aspen Summit to discuss what freedom and openness means to his company and its customers.

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