Online Communication Technologies: Finding the Balance Between Connecting Us and Respecting Our Rights
November 11, 2014

In today's digital era, people are grappling with the difficult issue of using technologies that make their lives better or easier, but also erode their fundamental rights and values. While these tools enable people to communicate and connect with the world, they often impinge upon a user's right to privacy, free speech and an online existence. As ongoing political and legal disputes around the globe — chiefly involving Google — have shown, these technologies also frequently fail to offer people the right to be forgotten.

Marketers' Greatest Big Government Threat: Being the Boogieman
November 3, 2014

Whether the issue is privacy, data security or spam, we never seem far from the specter of governments taking actions that would knock the pillars out from under the best direct marketing plans. At DMA2014 in San Diego, we got the chance to talk to DMA's VP of Government Affairs Rachel Nyswander Thomas about where we might see trouble coming, and what marketers can do to keep the politicians on their side.

They're in the Mail: Government Mail Surveillance Outed
October 30, 2014

Do you ever feel like you're being watched? Well, even if you don't, you probablydefinitely are. We live in a post-Snowden world; this is now common, garden-variety knowledge that the NSA is observing every facet of our increasingly mechanistic society. And lest anyone naïvely think our print mail was the last bastion of privacy, The New York Times recently helped make us widely aware of earlier news from Politico that is no longer the case.

Denny's Zinger: With Customer Care, Use the Government Example
October 29, 2014

In mid-September, we flew into Philadelphia from France and followed the crowd to passport control and baggage claim. We have been through this drill a gazillion times. It is always quick and efficient. The officers may ask where we've been and why and how long we've been away. They are polite, pleasant, sometimes chatty.

Denny's Zinger: Don't Believe What You Read!
October 15, 2014

Here's an AP headline and lede last week: "Americans Living Longer as Most Death Rates Fall"—Americans are living longer than ever before, according to a new government report filled mostly with good news. U.S. life expectancy inched up again and death rates fell.

Denny's Zinger of the Day: The Right Guy With the Right Stuff
October 3, 2014

Peggy and I love the American presidency. The pomp and panoply of presidential trips, White House galas, press conferences, one-on-one Q&As—we're there glued to the telly. Apart from the president, we looked for the square-jawed Secret Service guy who was always next to the president scanning the crowd.

Denny's Zinger of the Day: The Barack Obama Team - Lousy Communicators
September 26, 2014

Yet another story of an Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) success hit my Archive today. Two points: 1) This is Kentucky, where Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has threatened to obliterate Obamacare and cripple this presidency. 2) Most success stories are about happy enrollees whose lives were saved by Obamacare.

Privacy Groups Call for Action to Stop Facebook's Off-Site User Tracking Plans
July 31, 2014

U.S. and EU privacy and consumer groups called on privacy regulators to stop Facebook's plans to gather the internet browsing patterns of its users while they visit other sites. The groups asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Irish Data Protection Commissioner to stop Facebook collecting the web browsing activities of internet users in order to target advertising. They made the request in a letter sent to the authorities on Tuesday. Facebook's European headquarters is in Ireland, giving the Irish DPC responsibility for defending its European users’ personal data and privacy rights under EU law.

Apple Hit With Class-Action Suit for Spying on iPhone Users
July 30, 2014

Apple has been hit with a class-action suit on behalf of 100 million iPhone users who, allegedly, are being spied on by the phone's location tracking tools. According to the suit, filed in federal court in San Jose, Calif. by lead plaintiff Chen Ma, "In or around September 2012, Apple released iPhone 4 which contains an iOS operating system software that enables iPhone 4 to track its users’ whereabouts down to every minute, record the duration that users stay at any given geographical point, and periodically transmit these data stored on the users’ devices to Apple's database for future references."

Supreme Court to Hear DMA Case Against Colorado Tax Law
July 2, 2014

The Supreme Court of the United States today announced that it will hear a case brought by the DMA relating to a Colorado law imposing a notice and reporting scheme on remote sellers that do not collect state sales tax. The Supreme Court agreed to consider the question of whether federal courts may decide constitutional challenges to state tax regulations affecting only out-of-state businesses