DMA Creates 'TruST Coalition' to Fight Unfair Internet Sales Taxation
July 24, 2012

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) today announced the creation of the True Simplification of Taxation (TruST) Coalition. The TruST Coalition will fight attempts to pass unfair Internet sales tax requirements in Congress. DMA is joined in creating TruST by the American Catalog Mailers Association (ACMA), Electronic Retailers Association (ERA) and NetChoice.

Nutrisystem Required to Add Disclaimers to Weight Loss Testimonials on Pinterest
July 24, 2012

Nutrisystem's "Real Customers. Real Success" pinboard faced a different kind of reality when the Council of Better Business Bureau's National Advertising Division asked the weight loss program to put the same disclosers on its Pinterest ads as it does on its television and print ads. Not to be confused with the controversial "thinspiration" boards that have also circulated on the image-sharing site, Nutrisystem's board shows testimonials from healthy men and women who reportedly lost a reasonable amount of weight with the program's prescribed diet of prepackaged meals. On the pins were the customers’ names, "after" pictures and number of pounds lost.

Sales Tax on Web Purchases Could Be Coming
July 18, 2012

Congress is considering a bill that could result in a sales tax of 5 percent to 10 percent on purchases made via the Internet, bringing prices on such buys in line with those at brick-and-mortar stores. For years, "brick and mortar" stores such as Walmart and Target have been trying to get their online competitors, such as Amazon, to require their customers to charge sales tax. And for years, the online companies blocked those efforts. But the momentum appears to be shifting, and online shopping could soon become more expensive.

House GOP Leaders Give Postal Reform the Cold Shoulder
July 18, 2012

House Republican leaders have given up on passing postal reform legislation for the foreseeable future. They have indicated that they do not intend to take up either the Senate-passed postal reform measure or alternative House legislation before the month-long August recess, which begins on Aug. 4. Even after the House returns on Sept. 10, it is unlikely that postal legislation will be brought to the floor during the eight days in September and early October when Congress will be in session, before taking a six-week break for the election recess.

Google Faces $22.5 Million Fine for Safari Tracking
July 11, 2012

Google is set to pay a $22.5 million fine in relation to the discovery that it bypassed the privacy settings in Apple's Safari web browser, The Wall Street Journal reported. Citing officials "briefed on the settlement terms," Google is about to pay the biggest fine ever imposed by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for its use of special code to get around Safari's built-in privacy controls, allowing it to track users’ internet activity.

Google Sends Oracle $4M Legal Bill
July 10, 2012

Google has asked Oracle to pay the $4 million legal costs it accrued as part of the Java dispute between the two. In a court filing, originally posted by Wired, the search giant asked that Oracle pay costs including printing and copy fees, compensation for expert appointments, and filing fees for both printed and electronic excerpts over the course of the case.

Online Ad Industry Takes Aim at Microsoft in Congressional Hearing
July 2, 2012

The online ad industry tried once again in a hearing Thursday to convince Congress its self-regulation plan is working, even as one of its most important members, Microsoft, has broken ranks. Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, testified before the Senate Commerce Committee to give a raft of updated stats on the privacy icon that lets consumers opt out of tracking: a trillion ads with the icon served per month, a million consumer opt-outs since January 2011 and hundreds of companies licensing the icon.

Miami Heat Minority Owner Sues Google Over Unflattering Photo
June 27, 2012

Why do some people think Google is their very own reputation management tool? After Google rejected a May 2012 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown request over a photo of himself sticking his tongue out, a minority owner of the Miami Heat has sued the search engine and the blogger responsible for posting the image. In fact, it's the second time he's filed suit against the blogger; he lost his defamation case last year.

Do-Not-Track Standards Not Settled in W3C Meetings
June 26, 2012

The European Commission said preventing Microsoft from automatically blocking tracking of Internet Explorer (IE) users could distort the market. A letter sent to the Worldwide Web Consortium last week came as the organization convened for meetings over three days to discuss details of would-be global Do-Not-Track standards. Coincidentally, members met at Microsoft's Bellevue, Wash. offices. Microsoft at the end of May shocked the online ad industry and privacy advocates with news that it will automatically enable Do Not Track (DNT) for users in version 10 of IE.