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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 12:38 PM ET, 02/26/2013

The Circuit: FTC says identity theft is top consumer complaint

FTC says ID theft is top complaint: The Federal Trade Commission said Tuesday that consumer complaints about identity theft accounted for 18 percent of the 2 million the agency received in 2012.

Of the identity theft complaints, the agency said, 43 percent were related to tax or wage fraud.

Debt collection complaints ranked second, with 10 percent, while complaints about banks and lenders came in third with 6 percent. Complaints about Internet services were the seventh most common complaint, with 4 percent or around just over 81,000 complaints.

Apple lawsuit: Apple has settled with parents who sued the company for making it too easy for kids to rack up charges by buying add-ons to games and other apps.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company is agreeing to give qualifying customers a $5 iTunes credit or, in certain cases, $5 in cash.

Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment on the settlement.

The company has always required users to enter their passwords when they download an app, but the company used to also allow them to make additional in-app purchases for 15 minutes without reentering a password. As The Washington Post reported, parents complained that some children were able to accumulate hundreds of dollars in charges during that small window, drawing the scrutiny of state and federal regulators. Apple changed the policy in March 2011 to require a password for purchases, even on newly downloaded apps.

Internet Advocacy Day: Open Web advocates are preparing for Feb. 27, also known as Internet Advocacy Day, in which tech industry leaders and experts take to the Hill to educate Congress about Internet issues.

The day is the brainchild of the Internet Infrastructure Coalition, which is encouraging those interested in Internet issues to contact their members of Congress and promote the mission of Internet advocacy on social networks as part of the effort.

Google said to worry about Samsung: Google is reportedly worried about Samsung’s rising dominance as the main manufacturer of its Android mobile operating system, according to an article from the Wall Street Journal.

According to the report — which cites unnamed “people familiar with the matter” — Google executives are worried that Samsung’s rising dominance will give it too much power and allow the Korean company to eat into Google’s mobile advertising profits.

At a meeting of Google executives last year, the report said, Android head Andy Rubin reportedly said that the company’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility can act as insurance against Samsung’s strength.

Comcast makes new D.C. hires: Comcast announced two new hires for its D.C. offices Tuesday, saying that Ryan Wallach will now be the company’s senior deputy general counsel and Madura Wijewardena will be its new senior director of public policy.

Wallach has previously served as outside counsel for the company, and was special counsel at Willkie, Farr and Gallagher. Wijewardena had previously served as the director of research and policy at the national Urban League in Washington.

Copyright and piracy: After some delays, the Center for Copyright Information announced Monday that it will begin implementing new rules that directly notify users when their connections have been used for illegal downloading.

Also known as the “six strike” rule, the initiative gives users escalating warnings when Internet service providers detect copyrighted material is being shared over peer-to-peer networks. Early warnings are meant to educational while later warnings could result in the slowdown of Internet service for 48 hours.

By  |  12:38 PM ET, 02/26/2013

 
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