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Privacy Issues

Privacy Issues

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Published by animalejo
problemas de privacidad en web 2.0
problemas de privacidad en web 2.0

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Published by: animalejo on Jun 17, 2008
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TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTS18May 15, 2008 Vol. 74, No. 10
(ESA), and failed to give enough notice of pending ap-plications.The Forest Conservation Council, the American BirdConservancy, and Friends of the Earth had asked the Com-mission in 2002 to order the owners of 5,797 antennastructures in the Gulf Coast region to draft environmen-tal assessments “disclosing the direct, indirect, and cu-mulative impacts of their structures on migratory birds.”The organizations also asked the FCC to prepare an en-vironmental impact statement (EIS) on the effect towersin the region have had and may have on migratory birds.Until an environmental review is completed, the agencyshould suspend registering antennas in the region, thegroups argued.In its decision, the appeals court affirmed in part,vacated in part, and remanded in part the FCC’s 2006order. Meanwhile, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunica-tions Bureau has announced a new docket — WT docket08-61 — in response to the court remand.
Mobile Commerce RaisesNumerous Privacy Issues
Mobile commerce applications such as location-basedservices (LBS) raise numerous privacy issues, expertsagreed at a May 6–7 meeting held by the Federal TradeCommission, but many opposed the imposition of newlaws or regulations and said that industry best practiceswere the most sensible approach.“We need flexibility in the rules,” said
, senior vice president and general counsel of CTIA, after outlining the trade group’s new best prac-tices to protect the privacy of consumers who use LBS.A number of speakers acknowledged that there cur-rently is a patchwork of regulations and laws governingmobile commerce, with some applications apparently notcovered at all. But industry representatives in particularurged restraint in relying on new laws or rules.
Alissa Cooper
, chief computer scientist for the Cen-ter for Democracy and Technology, said she doesn’t fa-vor adding to the patchwork, but she suggested that a“baseline law” addressing consumer privacy in the digi-tal age is necessary. But
Fran Maier
, executive directorand president of TRUSTe, a nonprofit online privacy en-tity, suggested that even a baseline law could become outof date as new technologies and applications are intro-duced.A particular source of concern regarding privacy areLBS applications that allow individuals to be tracked,speakers agreed. “People have visceral concerns aboutpeople knowing where they are,” said
Tim Lordan
, ex-ecutive director of the Internet Education Foundation. ButMs. Cooper cited a survey that showed that 35% of con-sumers don’t realize that law enforcement officials cantrack them through their mobile phones.She said there is no legal standard for what law en-forcement must present to service providers in order totrack the location of consumers, saying that a probablecause warrant for both real-time and historical locationinformation should be necessary. “The government isroutinely requesting location information from carriers”without a warrant, she added.Several industry representatives, including those whorepresent third-party aggregators of information, stressedthat privacy controls are in place that require mobile phoneusers to consent to their location being released — suchas to friends.However, how operators and other content providersseek that consent was a topic of discussion. Ms. Maiersuggested there is a need for standardization on how no-tice is given and consent is sought on small mobile de-vice screens. She also suggested that, in many cases,consumers should get recurring consent notices.While an opt-in consent regime is generally the fa-vored approach for privacy advocates, “there’s such athing as a bad opt in,” Ms. Cooper said, and a “good optout.”In opening remarks, FTC Commissioner
said that while applications such as textingand location services have brought exciting new uses toconsumers, they have also created new challenges thatmust be dealt with.He noted, for example, that marketers are increas-ingly using the text and Internet functions on mobilephones to send advertisements, and that younger usersare especially being targeted. “All of these issues of heightened concern when it deals with children and teens,”he said. “It makes them easy prey for aggressive market-ers.”Regarding the LBS, which allows a person to betracked via their wireless phone, Commissioner Leibowitzsaid while consumers love the mapping capabilities andthe usefulness it provides in emergency situations, theyalso raise issues about government access and privacy.Thus far, the Democratic regulator said he has beenencouraged by the industry’s proactive approach to regu-late itself. He cited CTIA’s LBS best practices, but said of 
May 15, 2008 • Vol. 74, No. 10TELECOMMUNICATIONS REPORTS19
the industry, “they have to go further.” While the pressreleases put out by trade groups “say the right things ...companies have to do the right thing,” he said. He said theFTC would continue its policing role on consumer issues.Speakers discussed mobile messaging. AssistantFlorida Attorney General
William Haselden
noted thathis office has worked to enforce existing advertising lawsby reaching settlements with several big players, includ-ing AT&T, Inc., after thousands of mobile phones sub-scribers received charges on their bills for third-partyservices they didn’t authorize. The charges were oftenfor ring tones or other services advertised as free, includ-ing horoscopes and wallpaper. AT&T agreed in Februaryto pay $2.5 million to fund the efforts of a state CyberfraudTask Force and $500,000 for consumer education.
Leigh Schachter
, senior litigation counsel for Veri-zon Wireless, noted that his company has gone after textmessage spammers in a number of ways. He said the car-rier blocks 100 million to 200 million spam messages amonth — which account for up to 80% of all text mes-sages — has worked with law enforcement, and has filedlitigation against spammers. “Spam harms both custom-ers and the industry,” said Mr. Schachter.During another session, panelists discussed the tar-geting of children as young as five years old in the wire-less marketplace and cited the need to protect childrenfrom advertising and other offers to buy premium, or in-appropriate content. Several speakers stressed the needfor parental consent.“The parents have to take some authority and someresponsibility,” said
Michael Becker
, executive vicepresident–business development for iLoop Mobile, Inc.But
Jeff McIntyre
, senior legislative and federal af-fairs officer for the American Psychological Association,said there have to be restrictions on aiming mobile ad-vertising to children who are 7 or 8 or younger. “There’slanguage that they’re just not going to be able to under-stand,” he said. “That is, in our opinion, inherently un-fair.”
David Diggs
, executive director of CTIA’s WirelessFoundation, said the five largest wireless carriers all of-fer a range of tools parents can use to control the contenttheir children see, including the ability to turn off or fil-ter Internet content, the ability to block unwanted textmessages or phone calls, and the ability to monitor billsonline. “I think you are seeing responsible behavior onbehalf of the carriers,” he added. He also said his foun-dation has distributed educational materials on respon-sible mobile phone use to millions of school children.
UTC Seeks CII UseOf 14.0–14.5 GHz Band
The Utilities Telecom Council and Winchester CatorLLC have filed a petition for rulemaking asking the FCCto establish rules to allow critical infrastructure indus-tries (CII) to use the 14.0–14.5 gigahertz band for fixeduses on a secondary basis.“Fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint servicesfor fixed and temporary fixed stations should be permit-ted in the 14.0–14.5 GHz band on a secondary basis,” thepetition said. “The proposed operations can operate with-out interfering with earth-to-space links and other incum-bent services by following appropriate technical rules ...and through ongoing frequency coordination and inter-ference management techniques.”The petition, which was filed May 6, asserts that theFCC should allow a single nationwide CII licensee tocoordinate and manage fixed services in the spectrum,including ensuring that CII operators don’t cause inter-ference to incumbents.“The 14 GHz CII licensee would perform all neces-sary on-going frequency coordination and other interfer-ence avoidance measures in consultation with an entityexpert in satellite and fixed communications. In return,that entity would be permitted to use the CII spectrum ona preemptible basis for non-CII services (noncommer-cial and/or commercial,” the filing added.
European Commission SeeksInput on Mobile Roaming Rules
The European Commission has launched a public con-sultation, seeking input on the “functioning and effective-ness” of the rules governing international roaming feesthat went into effect last summer. The commission mustreport to the European Parliament and Council this yearand wants input by July 2 to inform its report.In addition to general comment on the policy, the com-mission asked for specific input on any problems or issuesrelated to “inadvertent roaming” — which it described aswhen consumers use their mobile phone near the border of a neighboring country and are connected to a foreign net-work; the effect of the regulation on smaller operators andon domestic prices; the necessity of regulations governingdata roaming services and SMS (short messaging service);and the appropriate duration of the roaming regulation.The commission also sought input on whether therehad been “any detrimental trend away from ‘per second’to ‘per minute’ billing as a result of the regulation.”

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