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Trends, Spam, Privacy and Regulation


Online Privacy

The New Face of Online Privacy

There is a new "i" in town, and it is carrying a lot of weight. Advertisers in the industry are agreeing to utilize a standard icon, a little "i" which will be used in online ads for demographical and behavioral data to inform consumers of what is new.

According to Jules Polonetsky, co-chairman and director of the Future of Privacy Forum, finding a universal symbol would resonate with consumers. Polonetsky states, "People will look at it, and once they know what it is, they’ll get it, and always get it."

When consumers get ads, starting around the middle of this summer, they will find an accompanying blue icon with the "i" which they can then click on. The icon will answer the question, "why did I get this ad?"

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Europe's Spam War

ENISA Agrees ISPs May Be Losing War Against Spam

The European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) has determined that European ISPs are only breaking even in the war against spam. According to a 2009 survey across 27 EU states, ENISA reports that ISP providers are spending between 10,000 Euros and upwards to seven figures for efforts to thwart spam going to the inboxes of the customers depending on their provider services.

Many customers are unaware of the time, effort and technology that is typically utilized to keep spam at bay. ENISA estimates that around 95 percent of each email that is sent is considered spam email.

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German Data Protection Requires Compliance With DPAs

German DPAs passed a resolution requiring website owners to comply with the German Telemedia Act (TMG) when creating user profiles.

Website operators in Germany have new rules to govern how they track website users and customer trends. Now, website owners are required to create secure user profiles and may have to seek consent before they can harvest user data for marketing purposes.

Globally, website owners everywhere know how important it is to assess and track the surfing behaviors of their web users. Collectively, this information is worth billions of dollars to the owners of websites around the world. In Germany particularly, the owners are able to harvest critical data regarding the advertising preferences and market research trends of their respective customers.

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FTC Takes Action Against Misleading ‘Free Trial’ Offers

By partnering with Better Business Bureau and Visa, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) intends to educate people about deceptive ‘free trial’ offers, which can become expensive commitments in the long run.

Who doesn’t like to try out new products, especially if someone offers them free? We certainly do! However, the one thing you need to be careful about when signing up for a free trial is the terms and conditions. Because if you aren’t, you could find yourself signed up and, worse still, paying for a product or service that you really don’t want.

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Anti-spam Investigators Step Up Efforts

Regulators across the world are now taking the fight against spam more seriously than ever before and this was reflected in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s successes earlier this month.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) recently achieved success in two different cases involving spammers. One case resulted in cumulative fines of $22 million, while the other involved bringing ‘the world’s biggest spammer’ to book.

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