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Digital Business Lawyer

Volume: 15 Issue: 1
(January 2013)


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ended on 3 January its investigation into Google’s alleged anti-competitive search practices, finding that Google does not illegally manipulate its search results. Rather, the FTC found that changes to Google’s search design are attempts to improve user experience. / read more

The European Commission adopted seven priorities for the Digital Agenda on 18 December, priorities which include investment in high speed broadband and a cyber-security strategy, but do not address all of the concerns. / read more

China approved on 28 December new laws allowing the deletion of ‘illegal’ information online and requiring internet users to provide their real names to ISPs. / read more


The FTC recently reached an agreement with advertising company Epic Marketplace over allegations that the company used ‘history sniffing’ technology to illegally gather data about the web browsing habits of millions of consumers. / read more

The UK Government is collating responses to its consultation on a Consumer Bill of Rights, which aims to clarify and modernise consumers' rights in relation to goods, services and digital content. H. Kristjan Larusson and Hayley Davis, of Taylor Vinters, discuss the Government's approach to ensuring that consumer rights, particularly in regards to digital content, fully protect the consumer. / read more

After two years of analysis, public workshops, and public comments, the Federal Trade Commission announced its revised Final Rule in late December 2012. Effective 1 July 2013, the Final Rule revises the existing Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) in many ways. John P. Feldman, a Partner at Reed Smith LLP, discusses these changes. / read more

Free, one of the three main French Internet Service Providers, exacerbated the net neutrality debate with its 3 January announcement that it was installing an ad-blocker on its Revolution Freebox. This application would block some advertising on end users' equipment. Marc Lempérière, Of Counsel at Bignon Lebray Avocats, discusses the implications of such a move and the on-going net neutrality debate in France. / read more

With over a billion people communicating via social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the appeal of user posts and messages as sources of criminal intelligence has never been stronger. Mark Johnson, Founder of the Risk Management Group, discusses the value of evidence gathered from social networking sources. / read more

The mobile applications industry is still developing, but while this is an exciting space that is providing opportunities for employment and profit, there are pitfalls too. In the US, regulators have their sights set on mobile app developers who fail to comply with key legal doctrine on matters such as the collection of children’s personally identifiable information. Barry M. Benjamin, a Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, explores the regulatory enforcement currently focused on the mobile app field. / read more

The sale of pirated products and counterfeit goods via the internet is a significant problem in Thailand, so much so that the Thai government is set on clarifiying the current legislation and increasing the power of rights holders with new provisions within the Draft Copyright Act. Nuttaphol Arammuang, Attorney-at-Law at Tilleke & Gibbins, discusses the current Computer Crimes Act and pending Copyright Act. / read more

By Rocco Panetta, a Partner at Panetta & Associati, Studio Legale. As is well-known, law enforcement agencies throughout the world are pushing for laws more invasive that force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecom providers to continuously collect and store data documenting the online activities of users. In turn, under a general point of view, data protection laws typically compel companies to limit the collection of personal information for a specific purpose (e.g. billing purposes), and to keep the data for only a specific period of time before destroying or anonymising it. Therefore, security requires retention and privacy fights against retention! But the main concern we can find is that we are still missing organic and harmonised regulation of data retention. / read more

Three key cases from the latest issue of our sister publication, E-Commerce Law Reports: Electronic Arts v. Zynga; Fairstar Heavy Transport v. Adkins and Claranet Ltd; and Jennings v. Broome. / read more

Following commitments made by four international publishers and Apple, the European Commission decided on 13 December 2012 to close its investigations on suspected anticompetitive practices in the e-book market. The concerns of the Commission focused on the joint switch from a wholesale model to agency contracts containing the same key terms. Annabelle Lepiece and Hanne Baeyens of CMS DeBacker, discuss the investigation and the legally binding commitments agreed by the publishers and Apple to terminate the existing agency contracts and refrain from adopting the clause for retail prices for five years. / read more

On 11 October 2012, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report titled ‘Mobile Device Location Data: Additional Federal Actions Could Help Protect Consumer Privacy.’ Requested by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), the Report recognises the efforts of Federal agencies to protect consumer privacy when using mobile devices but calls for additional action. Recent developments in the US mobile privacy field have also seen regulatory action by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Mark W. Brennan, an Associate at Hogan Lovells LLP, presents two reports on these developments; Christopher Wolf, Partner at Hogan Lovells, co-authored the first of these. / read more

About Digital Business Lawyer:

The monthly publication providing authoritative insights and thought leadership on the legal/regulatory issues affecting online business, covering distance selling, contracts, domain names, adblocking, advertising, cloud computing, net neutrality, e-privacy, data protection, cyber crime, the Internet of Things, social media, internet taxation and software / read more

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