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EFFector - Volume 22, Issue 7 - Google Launches a Behavioral Targeting Ad Program

EFFector Vol. 22, No. 07  March 13, 2009  editor@eff.org

A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
ISSN 1062-9424

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In our 502nd issue:

* GOOGLE LAUNCHED A BEHAVORIAL TARGETING AD PROGRAM this
week, which it calls "interest-based advertising." EFF is
concerned about behavioral targeting, because it means that
information about how you use the web is collected, stored
and associated with a cookie on your browser, which can
track you across different websites and online services.
The program'soriginal opt-out option -- using cookies to
opt-out of tracking cookies -- was not adequate, because
the very users who care most about privacy are the ones
most likely to delete cookies, thus removing them from the
opt-out protection.

We worked with Google to seek a new solution, and the
result is the Advertising Cookie Opt-Out Plug-in, which
allows users to keep their opt-out status for a particular
browser even when they clear all cookies. If you are a user
who shares our concerns about privacy, we encourage you to
opt-out of tracking by downloading the plug-in and keep
regularly deleting your cookies.

For the full post:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/google-begins-behavioral-targeting-ad-program

* GOOGLE HAS DECIDED TO MATCH LOOPT'S POLICY for dealing
with law enforcement demands in regards to Latitude,
Google's new cell phone-based friend-finding service. The
gist of the Latitude and Loopt policies? "Come back with a
warrant."

Like Loopt, Google's Latitude doesn't (currently) keep a
historic log of its users' locations; both companies
overwrite the old data each time you report a new location.
Google has confirmed that its policy will be to require a
wiretap order -- sometimes called a "super-warrant" since
it's even harder to get than a regular search warrant --
before tracking a Latitude user's location for law
enforcement.

Of course, it remains to be seen how far Google and Loopt
will go if faced with a court order that isn't the required
super-warrant. But the public commitment alone is an
important step forward, and to the extent either Google or
Loopt is faced with a law enforcement demand that they
don't think is up to snuff legally, the lawyers at EFF
stand ready and waiting to help.

For the full post:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/exclusive-google-takes-stand-location-privacy-alon

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EFF Updates

* Seer Systems Threatens EFF with Defamation Lawsuit
Seer Systems, Inc. and Stanley Jungleib have issued a
written litigation threat to EFF over statements made as
part of EFF's Patent Busting Project.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/seer-systems-threatens-eff-defamation-lawsuit

* Additional Details about Choruss on Campuses
EDUCAUSE, the nonprofit for information technology in
higher education, posted a one hour conversation with Jim
Griffin, the head of Choruss (and member of EFF's advisory
board).
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/additional-details-choruss-collective-licensing-ca

* Why Irish ISPs Should Stand with Their Customers
The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) recently wrote
to all Irish ISPs requiring that the ISPs instigate a
"three strikes" policy with their customers within 7 days.
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/irish-blackout

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miniLinks

~ Whitehouse.gov Continues YouTube Use
The White House appears to have ended its "experiment" with
hosting its own videos and has returned to using YouTube.
Will user info be harvested for Google's targeted
advertising?
http://paranoia.dubfire.net/2009/03/white-house-ends-experiment-goes-back.html

~ Court Tosses Gibson's Guitar Hero Suit
Gibson Guitar's patent infringement suit against the Guitar
Hero game was thrown out of court as "frivolous."
http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10187151-1.html

~ Senator's Donor Data Leaked
Wikileaks revealed that information on donors to MN Senator
Norm Coleman's campaign, including credit card numbers, was
accidently leaked over the Internet.
http://government.zdnet.com/?p=4456

For more miniLinks:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/minilinks-2009-03-12

For global miniLinks:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/03/global-minilinks-2009-03-05

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Announcements

* You're Invited to a "Geek Reading" with Authors Cory
Doctorow, Rudy Rucker, Annalee Newitz, and Charlie Anders
at 111 Minna Gallery

Join EFF on Monday, March 23rd, for a fundraising event
featuring award-winning writer Cory Doctorow.  Cory will be
reading from his novel, "Little Brother," a story of
high-tech teenage rebellion set in the familiar world of
San Francisco.  As he currently calls the UK home, this is
a rare opportunity to to hear Cory read from his work in
person.  He will be joined by fellow writers Rudy Rucker,
Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders reading from their latest
works.

WHEN:

Monday, March 23rd, at 7:30 p.m.

WHO:

Cory Doctorow (craphound.com) is a science fiction
novelist, blogger and technology activist.  He is the
co-editor of the popular weblog Boing Boing
(boingboing.net), and a contributor to Wired, Popular
Science, Make, the New York Times, and many other
newspapers, magazines and websites.  Cory is an EFF fellow
and the former Director of European Affairs at EFF.  He has
won the Locusand Sunburst Awards and been nominated for the
Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards.  His
latest novel, New York Times Bestseller "Little Brother,"
was published in May 2008, and his latest short story
collection is "Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present."

Rudy Rucker is a popular science fiction and nonfiction
writer.  Born in Kentucky in 1946, Rudy studied
mathematics, earning a Ph.D. from Rutgers University in the
theory of infinite sets.  After working 15 years as a
mathematics professor on the East Coast, Rudy moved to
Silicon Valley in 1986 to become a computer science
professor at San Jose State University, also working as a
software engineer at Autodesk, Inc.  After some 20 years at
SJSU, Rudy retired from teaching.  Rudy has published 29
books, including five non-fiction popular science books on
such topics as relativity, infinity, the fourth dimension,
and information.  "The Lifebox, the Seashell, and the
Soul"--his most recent nonfiction book--is about the
meaning
of computation.

Annalee Newitz is a journalist who covers the cultural
impact of science and technology, covering such topics as
open source software and hacker subcultures.  Annalee
writes for many periodicals, including Popular Science and
Wired, and since 1999 has had a syndicated weekly column
called Techsploitation.  From 2004-2005, Annalee was a
policy analyst for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  She
is the editor of io9, a Gawker-owned science fiction blog.

Charlie Jane Anders blogs about science fiction at io9.com.
She organizes the Writers With Drinks reading series and
is starting a weekly podcast called "I Am So Smart."  Her
writing has appeared most recently in "The McSweeney's Joke
Book Of Book Jokes," Mother Jones magazine, and the
upcoming "Science Fiction: The Best of the Year, 2009
Edition."  Charlie wrote a novel called "Choir Boy" and
co-edited an anthology called "She's Such a Geek."  Find
her on Twitter as "charliejane."

WHERE:

111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna St. @ 2nd
San Francisco, CA 94105

Admission is $25.  No one turned away for lack of funds.
Must be 21 or older to attend.

RSVP to: events@eff.org

111 Minna Gallery is accessible via BART.  Get off at the
Montgomery station and use the exit marked 2nd and Market.
Walk south on 2nd Street until you reach 111 Minna Gallery
on the right.  It's also walking distance from the Caltrain
station.

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Administrivia

EFFector is published by:
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
http://www.eff.org/about

Editor:
Sara Bassett, Membership Services Assistant
sara@eff.org

Membership & donation queries:
membership@eff.org

To support EFF:
secure.eff.org/donate

General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries:
information@eff.org

Back issues of EFFector are available at:
http://www.eff.org/effector/
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