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Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee

Timothy B. Lee covers technology policy, including copyright and patent law, telecom regulation, privacy, and free speech. He also writes about the economics of technology. He has previously written for Ars Technica and Forbes. You can follow him on Twitter or send him email.

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Brian Fung

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Andrea Peterson

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. She also delves into the societal impacts of technology access and how innovation is intertwined with cultural development.

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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 03/08/2013

The Circuit: FTC releases guidelines on mobile payments

FTC releases guidelines on mobile payments: The Federal Trade Commission released a report Friday outlining recommendations for those developing mobile payment technology. The commission reiterated recommendations it has made to mobile app developers, advising that security and privacy be initial considerations during the design process rather than afterthoughts.

The commission also announced that it will hold a roundtable, particularly on the practice of mobile “cramming” — a term that refers to extra charges third parties make on consumers’ phone bills without their knowledge — on May 8.

The new FTC chairman, Edith Ramirez, made her first public remarks Friday at the Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C., focusing on the concept of privacy by design, particularly in mobile.

Google said to lay off 1200 Motorola employees: Google is reportedly set to lay off 1200 employees at Motorola Mobility, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal, following deep cuts the tech titan had announced after acquiring the firm last year.

According to the report, Google said that it was “optimistic” about the products Motorola has in its pipeline, but needed to make the cuts to reduce costs. The layoffs are said to impact Motorola Mobility employees in the U.S. China and India.

Facebook redesign’s impact on advertisers: Facebook’s news feed redesign focuses on showing larger photos, videos and graphics — a design that could have been made at the request of advertisers looking to grab more attention on the site.

But, the changes may have a bad effect on companies with smaller ad budgets, or those whose services can’t be represented quite so visually.

Peter LaMotte, who leads the digital team at Levick, a District-based communications firm, told The Washington Post that companies will have to work harder for success on the social network by creating more interesting ads.

“It’s no longer about being prepared to buy your way” onto a user’s news feed, he said. “You have to make engaging content.”

Uber under pressure in Colorado: Car service Uber is under pressure in Colorado, where the Colorado Public Utilities Commission is considering rule changes that could stop the company from running its driving service in Denver.

The FTC released comments Friday morning calling the proposed restrictions “overbroad” and raising concerns that these regulations could “inhibit the use of mobile smartphone software applications” in the transportation space.

In the comments, which were sent to the Colorado commission, the FTC recommends that any regulatory framework should be “adaptable” to new technology.

IBM CEO Rommety touts value of big data: In remarks Thursday evening to the Council on Foreign Relations, IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty discussed how governments can apply insights pulled from big data to fight crime, encourage entrepreneurial efforts and, yes, help politicians run their campaigns.

“It is well known by now that President Barack Obama won reelection not by targeting broad populations, states or Zip codes … but by using Big Data analytics and behavioral science to understand voters as individuals,” Rommety said. “They used this data to allocate resources – funding, campaign workers, outreach – in real time. The final simulations of the Ohio vote were accurate to within 0.2 percent.”

She said that efficient data analysis can be used to create value for individuals, rather than market segments, giving organizations more valuable information to help them plan their next moves.

By  |  12:45 PM ET, 03/08/2013

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