Advertising

A look at how companies try to reach potential customers.

Why platforms should pay for polluting our civic discourse

Targeted online ads and data harvesting are incredibly lucrative for the platforms but harmful for local newsrooms and the communities they’re supposed to serve. The shift in eyeballs and ad dollars to the platforms has hastened the collapse of the traditional advertising marketplace that once helped sustain quality local journalism. This collapse has led to widespread layoffs, which has meant less of the content that readers are willing to pay for, which has resulted in more cutbacks and the continuation of a vicious cycle.

Sen Elizabeth Warren escalates Facebook ad feud

A days-long feud between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Facebook intensified over the weekend as she openly accused the company of "taking money to promote lies." Facebook fired back via another social media platform, Twitter, where the company compared itself to broadcast television stations that ran a Trump ad and are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. The "FCC doesn't want broadcast companies censoring candidates' speech," Facebook said.

Facebook Reaches Proposed Settlement in Video Measurement Lawsuit

Facebook could pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit from advertisers over miscalculated video metrics. The legal battle began in 2016 after Facebook disclosed it had incorrectly calculated the average viewing time for video ads on its platform. For two years, the tech giant had only counted video views that lasted at least three seconds, ignoring those of shorter durations and artificially pushing the average length of a view higher.

Google Draws House Antitrust Scrutiny of Internet Protocol

Congressional antitrust investigators are scrutinizing plans by Google to use a new internet protocol because of concerns that it could give the company a competitive advantage by making it harder for others to access consumer data. Investigators for the House Judiciary Committee asked Google for information about its “decision regarding whether to adopt or promote the adoption” of the protocol, which the company said is aimed at improving internet security.

A Tax on Silicon Valley Is A Dumb Way to Solve Digital Divide, But Might Be A Smart Way To Protect Privacy.

What sort of a tax on Silicon Valley (and others) might make sense from a social policy perspective? What about a tax on the sale of personal information, including the use of personal information for ad placement? To be clear, I’m not talking about a tax on collecting information or on using the information collected. I’m talking a tax on two-types of commercial transactions; selling information about individuals to third parties, or indirectly selling information to third parties via targeted advertising. It would be sort of a carbon tax for privacy pollution.

50 US states and territories announce broad antitrust investigation of Google

Attorneys general for 50 US states and territories officially announced an antitrust investigation of Google (CA and AL are the only states that have not signed onto the probe), embarking on a wide-ranging review of a tech giant that the officials said may threaten competition, consumers and the continued growth of the web.

States to Launch Google, Facebook Antitrust Probes

State attorneys general are formally launching separate antitrust probes into Facebook and Alphabet’s Google unit starting the week of Sept 9, putting added pressure on tech giants already under federal scrutiny. New York Attorney General Letitia James said that her office was organizing a bipartisan, multi-state probe into social media company Facebook. “We will use every investigative tool at our disposal to determine whether Facebook’s actions may have endangered consumer data, reduced the quality of consumers’ choices, or increased the price of advertising,” she said.

Big Tech’s ‘Innovations’ That Aren’t

What passes for innovation by Big Tech today isn’t fundamentally new products or new services, but ever more sophisticated exploitation of people. It’s time we demanded more of Big Tech than it demands of us. That's why I’ve proposed banning the “dark patterns” that feed tech addiction. I’ve introduced legislation to provide consumers a legally enforceable right to browse the internet privately, without data tracking. I’ve advocated stepping up privacy safeguards for children and requiring tech companies to moderate content without political bias as a condition of civil immunity.

AT&T, FTC reach settlement over data throttling lawsuit

AT&T has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over a 2014 lawsuit related to the carrier’s data throttling practices and disclosures. A court filing shows AT&T has approved final terms of the deal, and the parties are requesting a 90-day stay through November 21 so FTC Commissioners can vote on the settlement.

Google Chrome proposes 'privacy sandbox' to reform advertising evils

Google's Chrome team proposed a "privacy sandbox" that's designed to give us the best of both worlds: ads that publishers can target toward our interests but that don't infringe our privacy. It's a major development in an area where Chrome, the dominant browser, has lagged competitors. Browsers already include security sandboxes, restrictions designed to confine malware and limit its possible damage.