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Re: maybe not djf AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie
From: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2008 18:03:35 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Adam Fields <ip20398470293845 () aquick org>
Date: August 16, 2008 3:32:56 PM EDT
To: David Farber <dave () farber net>
Cc: ip <ip () v2 listbox com>
Subject: Re: [IP] Re: maybe not djf AT&T the Web Spy? -- And Their Big Google Lie

For IP, if you wish:

On Sat, Aug 16, 2008 at 03:25:18AM -0400, David Farber wrote:
[...]
So just remember, those dirty pictures you looked at might be sending
your clicks into google's click logs too.  Maybe a browser addon that
alerts to google analytics tracking on a page would be an idea for
someone to make (if it doesn't exist already).

Well, that's very interesting.

Google Analytics does not appear to have its own privacy policy, and
it's entirely unclear how data collected from a user via a hidden
embedded javascript in a third party site could be covered under the
Google privacy policy instead of that of the enclosing site without an
explicit notice in the privacy policy of that site (or even with one,
for that matter). When a site owner signs up for Google Analytics and
includes their code in a site, are there any restrictions offered to
the site owner on what Google can or will do with that data?

I think it would be a tough defense that handing over wholesale
clickstream data to Google qualifies as 'incident to the ordinary
course of business of the video tape service provider' without a
statement that Google will never use that data for anything other than
providing the requested analytical data.

If the use of Google Analytics is not disclosed in the privacy policy
of those sites, this probably qualifies as a large-scale violation of
the VPPA, and those sites may be facing some significant lawsuits in
the future.

(The EFF has argued pretty convincingly that the VPPA reads to include
online video sites, though I don't know the court's opinion on that:

http://ftp.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/07/why-vppa-protects-youtube-and-viacom-employees
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/07/court-ruling-will-expose-viewing-habits-youtube-us)

--
                                - Adam

** Expert Technical Project and Business Management
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****** [ http://www.adamfields.com ]

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