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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.

Post Tech
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Posted at 09:02 AM ET, 01/26/2012

The Circuit: Google privacy, LightSquared, Apple labor practices

LEADING THE DAY: Google’s new privacy policy and additional push for data integration could be of particular significance to Android users, privacy experts said, because Android users are rarely signed out of their accounts, The Washington Post reported.

Google said that its policy wouldn’t have any extra bearing on Android users, because Android has always fallen under the main Google privacy policy. Experts do not dispute that assertion, but note that Google will be able to do more with the information it collects.

LightSquared hearing planned: House subcommittee on technology chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) announced that the subcommittee will hold a hearing looking into the Federal Communications Commission’s handling of LightSquared. In a meeting with reporters Wednesday, Walden said that he would like to explore how interference concerns with LightSquared’s network didn’t come up until late in the regulatory process, Bloomberg reported.

Human cost of the iPad: Electronics companies, including Apple, have come under scrutiny for their labor practices in Asia, The New York Times reported. Apple told the newspaper that it’s made progress in improving its factories and has a strict auditing process. But at the end of the day, critics say, low manufacturing costs will trump human rights concerns.

“We’ve known about labor abuses in some factories for four years, and they’re still going on,” one former Apple executive told the paper on the condition of anonymity. “Why? Because the system works for us. Suppliers would change everything tomorrow if Apple told them they didn’t have another choice.”

Netflix: Netflix has bounced back, gaining nearly 600,000 subscribers in the past quarter. The company lost around 800,000 customers after announcing unpopular price changes, but reported that it is recovering in an earnings call Wednesday. Shares of the company jumped nearly 16 percent in after-hours trading, the Associated Press reported, and were still up 19.5 percent in early morning trading Thursday.

Netflix’s reported revenue of $876 million beat analyst predictions by $19 million, the report said.

Leahy open to looking at piracy bill alternative: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) said again that he is willing to look at other proposals to combat online piracy, including portions the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, an alternative to the tabled Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act. The Hill reported that Leahy said he will work with OPEN’s Senate sponsor Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to move forward on the war against online piracy.

By  |  09:02 AM ET, 01/26/2012

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