Privacy Standards For The TV That Is Watching You

Digital screens that can gather information about consumers are growing more common in stores and other public places. In response to privacy concerns, trade associations have issued privacy standards. Will they be enough?

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Harley Geiger, Policy Counsel at the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a non-profit public interest organization based in Washington, DC. With expertise in law, technology, and policy, CDT’s mission is to keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. Geiger wrote a paper on digital signage privacy standards for CDT and worked with Digital Signage Federation to adapt the paper into their guidelines.

All too often, it is only after public uproar that companies see the value of privacy and adopt safeguards that should have been present in the first place. For industries seeking to grow in visibility and to attract and retain customers, it is not helpful to be burdened with a reputation for being intrusive or creepy. Consumer mistrust can last long after any public outcry fades. The digital signage industry just took a critical step in the other direction, adopting privacy rules before large-scale controversy.

The Digital Signage Federation, a major industry trade association, announced last week that it is adopting a comprehensive set of digital signage privacy standards for its member companies and their affiliates. The move comes as identification technologies are gaining traction within the digital signage industry. The digital signage trade associations are showing considerable prudence in adopting the standards now, rather than after a backlash over privacy. However, as digital signage transforms the media landscape, it remains to be seen whether the voluntary standards will be enough. That is up to the individual companies deploying and using the technology.

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JPMorgan Chase Says It Had No Duty to Mitigate Madoff Fraud

Bernard Madoff, the disgraced investment executive responsible for the biggest ponzi scheme in U.S. history, kept his client’s capital at the financial intermediary JPMorgan Chase.

A recently filed lawsuit by appointed trustee Irving Picard aimed at JPMorgan is seeking $6.4-billion in damages from the New York City-based investment bank, citing internal e-mails, among other communications, that allegedly proves JPMorgan knew something was off with Madoff’s account.

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Pepsi Reveals New Tall/Skinny Pepsi Can, to Launch In March

PepsiCo has unveiled a new taller and skinnier soda can for its Pepsi soft drink, expected to debut some time in March.

The company says the new can was developed to celebrate “beautiful, confident women [everywhere],”

Pepsi is going to unveil the new can at an upcoming fashion show to be held in New York City days from now on February 11.

PepsiCo also owns a number of other well-known soft drinks, including Mtn Dew, among others, but the company will only offer its Pepsi beverage in the new can.

The retail giant will also continue to offer Pepsi in the traditional regular seize cans already available.

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WestJet Q4 Earnings Fly Past Expectations

westjetThe Calgary-based airline company, WestJet Ltd, announced strong fourth quarter earnings today, surpassing Wall Street expectations.

The company reported total net profits of $47.9-million ($0.33 per share) in the period. Analysts were expecting about $0.20 EPS.

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Sony Seeks Personal Information from Twitter, YouTube Users In PlayStation 3 Hack Case

The notorious 21-year old computer programmer from New Jersey, George Hotz, best known for being the first to crack Apple’s iOS iPhone to run homebrewed applications, is facing legal troubles after releasing a hack variation for Sony’s PlayStation 3 gaming system.

At first believed to be un-crackable, programmers were finally able to crack the firmware of the four-year-old gaming console, allowing gamers to play pirated games, and to run homebrewed third party applications.

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NASDAQ Confirms Part of Its Systems Were Hacked, Repeatedly Accessed

nasdaq-nyc-times-squareThe New York City-based equities index, NASDAQ, confirmed on Saturday that unknown Internet hackers successfully penetrated part of the organization’s sensitive networks, even multiple times, throughout 2010.

Hackers were able to access data from the company’s Directors Desk product, which is a cloud-based service NASDAQ Group offers to companies that have their securities listed on its index, which allows users to securely share documents.

Top-level government agencies, including the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Justice Department, among others, are working together to identify the perpetrators and what information they could have illegally accessed.

Investigators have not reached a motive for the attacks, which could span to include industrial espionage, to financial gain from accessing material nonpublic information.

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Flickr Mistakenly Deletes/Undeletes User’s Account With 4,000 Photos

A long time Flickr user, Bindermichi (his blog post), got a big shock on February 1 when he tried to log in to his Flickr account, only to be asked to create a new account, even though he already had one, for over five years.

Flickr erroneously deleted the man’s account after he reported another Flickr user who was allegedly stealing photos from his stream.

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Facebook Ups Security With HTTPS Connections

facebookThe world’s largest social networking website with over 500-million members, Facebook, has added support to a long requested feature, SSL connection support, which ensures personal data remains private by encrypting data before it is sent or received over the Internet.

Security experts warn users that access Facebook over public networks and unsecured wireless connections are most at risk, as malicious network software could be used by hackers to retrieve Facebook browser cookies that contain unencrypted personal information.

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Google Unveils Android Honeycomb Logo, Schedules Press Event

The world’s largest online search engine, turned mobile OS giant, Google Inc., has unveiled a new logo for its upcoming Google Android 3.0 tablet centric operating system code-named “Honeycomb”.

The original Android logo features a robot figure, which is also incorporated in the new logo.

The company in the past also incorporated the original Android robot figure in other versions of Android, including Android Donut, and Android Cupcake.

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“Outgoing” Google CEO Schmidt to get $100mn equity award

Update: Schmidt’s new post at Google could be short lived, as he is reportedly seeking a career in television, according to a report from the New York Post, which says he is in negotiations with CNN executive producer Liza McGurk on developing a show featuring himself.

The world’s largest online search engine, Google Inc., has announced plans to replace the current company chief executive officer, Eric Schmidt, with Google co-founder Larry Page, effective April 4, 2011.

Eric Schmidt has served as the chief executive at Google since August 2001.

As part of a reward package to Schmidt, Google confirmed it would give him a $100-million equity bonus over a four-year period.

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