MRA News

  • Aug 21, 2014
    California A.B. 1710 looks likely to become law before the end of 2014. This legislation would expand the requirements of the Golden State’s data security breach requirements to include not just the owner or licenser of personal data, but also anyone who “maintains” such data. The bill originally passed the Assembly on May 8, and the Senate returned it to the Assembly for concurrence in some amendments and tweaks on August 19. The terms “own” and “license” include “personal information that a business retains as part of the business’ internal...
  • Aug 20, 2014
    Congress is set to fund most of the federal government in fiscal year 2015 (starting October 1) with a “continuing resolution” in the next few weeks, funding government activities at the same level as the current fiscal year. For the 2020 Census, that could mean a fiscal and statistical disaster later in the decade -- and once we’re on that road, veering off might be extremely difficult. As MRA and our Census Project coalition allies explained in calling for a funding “anomaly” in the continuing resolution to allow for necessary Census 2020...
  • Aug 11, 2014
    By Stuart L. Pardau What Was the Lawsuit About?The class action representatives alleged[1] that comScore improperly obtained and used personal information from class members’ computers in violation of state and federal law. ComScore used a program called “OSSProxy,” which it distributed under different comScore owned and operated brands, to collect information about users’ computer usage. Generally, OSSProxy was bundled with unrelated third party “free” digital products, like screensavers. ComScore presented users who downloaded the digital...
  • Aug 8, 2014
    Will the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) finally bring some certainty to the telephone bills of survey, opinion and marketing research firms, or will it simply spread the tyranny to online research as well? On August 6, the FCC asked the the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service to recommend how the FCC should modify the "Universal Service methodology" which determines the size of the fee on your telephone bill. Those recommendations are due in April 2015. BackgroundThe Universal Service Fund (USF) was originally established...
  • Aug 8, 2014
    Delaware needs you to fire up the incinerator and ready the old industrial-strength shredder. The First State’s governor, Jack Markell, signed H.B. 295 into law on July 1, requiring the safe destruction of documents containing personally identifying information. The new law specifies that a commercial entity must “shall take all reasonable steps to destroy or arrange for the destruction of a consumer's personal identifying information within its custody and control that is no longer to be retained by the commercial entity by shredding, erasing...
  • Aug 5, 2014
    “The world has gone wireless,” said commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). “In the coming years, we will have 11 times the amount of mobile traffic we have today. Combine that with the Internet of things, and we are getting ready for a tidal wave.” Rosenworcel spoke at a July 23 event on technology policy hosted by The Hill in Washington, DC, with discussions ranging from telecommunications innovation and net neutrality to the ever-MR-favorites of data privacy and security. FTC Commissioner Julie Brill...
  • Aug 4, 2014
    Congress wants to expand caller identification requirements to cover new telecommunications channels On July 30, the House Energy & Commerce Committee passed "the Anti-Spoofing Act" (H.R. 3670), legislation sponsored by Reps. Grace Meng (D-NY-06) and Joe Barton (R-TX-06) which would expand the existing law prohibiting anti-caller ID "spoofing" to cover text messaging and voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) services. Since federal law focuses on manipulating or blocking caller ID for purposes of fraud or the like, it should not directly...
  • Jul 22, 2014
    She may only be a freshman U.S. Senator, but Deb Fischer (R-NE) is directly challenging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). On July 9, she asked FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez (one of the top 10 government players in consumer privacy in 2014) a series of piercing questions about an FTC complaint against Amazon. The agency formally launched a lawsuit against Amazon the next day for charging parents for app purchases made by their children without consent. Similar legal action against Google remains up in the air. While Fischer’s letter may have...
  • Jul 16, 2014
    A recently revealed study by Facebook of its users triggered both legal and ethical concerns about privacy, transparency and respondent consent. A U.S. Senator called for an FTC investigation, which seems likely. What does this incident mean for the survey, opinion and marketing research profession and what do researchers think about it? Researchers ran an A/B experiment with Facebook users (almost 700,000 people) in early 2012, altering the amount of positive and negative posts in users’ newsfeeds to see if it impacted their mood via “...
  • Jul 13, 2014
    The Internet of Things is “a game-changing moment in our relationship with technology and personal data as we stand on the edge of a data explosion from interconnected devices,” according to TRUSTe, which played host to a discussion on July 10 to try to answer an important question: “Can we have privacy and the Internet of Things?” Yen Nguyen, deputy attorney general for the privacy enforcement & protection unit at the California Department of Justice, observed that her state is ahead of others in the regulation this phenomenon. “...