Monday, December 27, 2010


McDonald’s, CBS, Mazda & Microsoft Mine Data from Web Ads, Class Says

December 27, 2010 by Dissent

McDonald’s, CBS, Mazda and Microsoft use their Internet ads as a cover for data-mining, to identify the websites people visit, invading people’s privacy, misappropriating their personal information and interfering with the operations of their computers, a class action claims in Federal Court. “Defendants acted in concert with [nonparty] Interclick, mining consumers’ web browser histories for entries of particular relevance to defendants’ respective, customized advertising campaigns,” the complaint states.

Lead plaintiff Sonal Bose, of New York, N.Y., included Does 1-50 as defendants.

She claims McDonald’s committed its offenses, including violations of computer privacy laws, through its online World Cup-theme game in the summer of 2010.

CBS did it in an online ad campaign for its “online fantasy sports platform” before the 2010 Major League Baseball season began; Mazda did it in ads for its summer sales and 2010 models, and Microsoft did it during a 7-month ad campaign for its Windows Smartphone, according to the complaint.

Read more on Courthouse News.

(Related) and also inevitable. Why do you think he went to Law School?

Man quits job, makes living suing e-mail spammers

Eight years ago, Balsam was working as a marketer when he received one too many e-mail pitches to enlarge his breasts.

Enraged, he launched a Web site called, quit a career in marketing to go to law school [Law School recruiters take note! Bob] and is making a decent living suing companies who flood his e-mail inboxes with offers of cheap drugs, free sex and unbelievable vacations.

And while we're at it, let's go after those Behavioral Advertising types too...

Privacy groups ask FTC to probe drug companies’ online practices

By Dissent, December 27, 2010

Pamela Lewis Dolan reports:

Four privacy advocacy groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, asking it to investigate the online marketing practices of pharmaceutical companies.

The Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, the U.S. Public Interest Research Groups and the World Privacy Forum filed a 144-page complaint in late November alleging that certain websites allow pharmaceutical companies to collect patient information and information on physicians’ prescribing and treatment patterns to market health-related services or drugs directly to the consumers or physicians.

Among the sites the complaint targeted are Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, which operate data and advertising exchanges. The complaint also mentions by name Sermo, the social media site for physicians that has a partnership with Pfizer,, Everyday Health, Health Central, QualityHealth and WebMD, among others.

Read more on American Medical News.

So, cops can use technology to enhance what the “Mark I eyeball” can do.

Pennsylvania appeals court allows evidence obtained with GPS technology

December 26, 2010 by Dissent

Eryn Correa reports:

A Pennsylvania appeals court on Saturday overturned the Chester County Court of Common Pleas decision banning the use of evidence obtained with global positioning systems (GPS) technology. The three judge panel of the appeals court ruled to allow the admission [Daily Local News report] of evidence that could bring four more alleged burglaries to light. In 2008, GPS tracking devices had been placed in SUVs thought to be used in the commission of several burglaries around Philadelphia. The GPS devices later showed the SUVs at or near the scene of further crimes. Chester County Judge Thomas Gavin originally upheld the movement to suppress the evidence obtained by GPS citing a lack of case history and unease with the invasion of privacy such technology allowed.

Read more on JURIST.

Perhaps we could move trials “into the Cloud?”

December 26, 2010

New on Juror Behavior in the Information Age

Via - Juror Behavior in the Information Age: Ken Strutin focuses on the impact of social media on jurors who increasingly try to stay connected to work and home while performing their civic duty, and the resulting impact of the power of individual jurors to virtualize a trial by going online. His article collects recent and notable examples of juror online misbehavior and highlights scholarship and practice resources concerning its implications for voir dire, trial management and the administration of justice.

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