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Pinterest Joins the “Do Not Track” Ranks

Pinterest LogoIn a move that some (especially marketers) might find as detrimental to the future financial success of Pinterest, the popular image sharing site has decided to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to opt out of being tracked by the site.

How far Pinterest goes to promote this fact remains to be seen since it was given one sentence at the very end of a post from Friday of last week announcing other updates to the service which include a new edit button.

The New York Times reported about the do not track element telling us

In Silicon Valley there are hundreds of companies that track people’s habits with the hopes of offering more intrusive advertising. There are, in comparison, very few Valley start-ups that give people the opportunity to opt out of that tracking.

Idiot Runs Onto Field At MLB All Star Game Because He Got 1,000 Retweets

Well, this is definitely the dark side, or should I say dumb side, of the social media space for sure.

CBS New York reports about a ‘fan’ who ran onto the field during the MLB All Star Game last night.

There might not have been a ton of action on the field during Tuesday night’s MLB All-Star Game — the American League won a pitching duel, 3-0 — but spectators at the park were entertained when a fan sporting a Robinson Cano shirt ran onto the field and was taken down by security guards.

He’s known as @MasoneDylan on Twitter, and prior to the Midsummer Classic he tweeted that if he received 1,000 retweets he would “run across the field.”

Sure enough, he got the 1,000 retweets necessary.

You can guess what he did next. This is what he got for his efforts.

(Note: If this was in Philly they would have tasered him so this guy, unfortunately, gets off easy)

I am not playing the role of ‘stick in the mud’ here. It’s just that stunts like this in an age where people are wary of anyone doing anything that could even remotely smell of something more serious (in the wake of the Boston marathon bombings EVERYONE at events like this are on high alert) are not smart.

Google in European Privacy Watchdog’s Crosshairs Yet Again

Google LegalDespite having put forth an effort in 2012 to put European countries at ease about data collection its data collection efforts, Google finds itself back in hot water over privacy concerns.

The UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has told Google of the perceived inadequacies in their current privacy policies and similar organizations from Germany, France and Spain have followed suit. Of course, with France being accused of having their own PRISM like way of gathering data on their citizens this rings a little hollow but that’s for another day.

The Guardian reports

Privacy watchdogs in the UK, Germany and Italy have told Google to rewrite its privacy policy in Europe or face legal sanctions, 15 months after the search giant unilaterally altered them to unify data collection.

If You Market To Kids Note That Stricter COPPA Rules are Now in Effect

123215_democratizing_infoIf you run a website for children or sell products aimed at kids, your job just got a whole lot tougher. This past Monday, the updated Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules went into effect and ignoring the rules could cost you up to $16,000 per violation.

The biggest change is in what constitutes personal information. In the past, you only needed a parent’s permission to collect emails and addresses for kids under 13. Now, photos, audio and video uploads are also included in the rule as well as geo-location information.

That means if you run a website where kids upload photos or videos of themselves for fun or for a contest, you must get verifiable permission from a parent. You can do this in a number of ways:

Natural Search Return or Paid Result? FTC Says Its Too Hard To Tell the Difference

ad note on googleWhen looking at a page of search results I often feel like I’m playing a round of Where’s Waldo. But instead of the guy in the striped t-shirt, I’m looking for the place where the paid ads end and the natural search results begin.

I don’t have evidence to prove it, but I feel like that line used to be more clearly defined. There would be a couple of very obvious ads at the top of the page and rest would be sites that earned their spot the hard way. Results in the right hand column were always ads. I can’t remember at what point ads started appearing in the main results as well.

Twitter Gets A Buddy In The White House

twitter-bird-blue-on-whiteTwitter’s legal director of products, Nicole Wong, has joined the Obama administration as deputy U.S. chief technology officer.

Following in the footsteps of Google who has a rich history of sending ex-Googlers to Washington, DC to help the world (yes there is a bit of sarcasm there), Twitter now can count a White House staffer amongst its alums.

The Washington Post reports

Twitter executive Nicole Wong is joining the Obama administration as deputy U.S. chief technology officer, the White House said in a statement Thursday.

Wong, who has been Twitter’s legal director of products since November, will be working on Internet privacy and technology issues, according to a spokesman for the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Google Looks to Distance Itself From Its Competition Amidst NSA Data Leak Fallout

google-logo1In the wake of the leaks by Edward Snowden, many tech companies have been looking to distance themselves from the controversy by releasing how many requests they receive for information from the US government. The latest to take that step was Yahoo! yesterday which followed suit with the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Facebook.

Google is taking this battle to the next level as reported in the Washington Post

Google asked the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on Tuesday to ease long-standing gag orders over data requests the court makes, arguing that the company has a constitutional right to speak about information it is forced to give the government.