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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.

Brian Fung

Brian Fung

Brian Fung covers technology for The Washington Post, focusing on electronic privacy, national security, digital politics and the Internet that binds it all together. He was previously the technology correspondent for National Journal and an associate editor at the Atlantic. His writing has also appeared in Foreign Policy, Talking Points Memo, the American Prospect and Nonprofit Quarterly. Follow Brian on Google+ .

Andrea Peterson

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 02:30 PM ET, 03/12/2012

The Circuit: Possible E.U. e-book settlement, discussing ‘big data’ at SXSW and more

E.U. open to e-books settlement: The European Union may be open to a settlement with Apple and major publishers including Harper Collins over an antitrust case about e-book pricing. At a news conference, E.U. antitrust chief Joaquin Almunia told reporters that a settlement would be possible if publishers were “ready to remove” the sales restrictions that have raised red flags with regulators, Bloomberg reported.

The European Union has been looking into the e-book pricing issue since last year. The Justice Department, which confirmed its own investigation in December, has told Apple and the publishers that it would sue them for alleged price-fixing unless the companies make changes to their business.

CNN reportedly in talks for Mashable: CNN is reportedly in “advanced talks” to buy Mashable, according to a report from the New York Times. The report says the that specializes in stories on technology and social media would cost more than $25 million, making it CNN’s largest acquisition to date.

Mashable chief executive Pete Cashmore reportedly addressed some rumors in an e-mail to his staff, saying that reports that the site would be acquired by the end of week were untrue, the Times said.

‘Big data’ privacy issues at South by Southwest: A panel at South by Southwest in Austin on “big data” brought up some issues about the privacy legislation as a whole.

According to a report from CNET, a panel comprising TechFreedom’s Berin Szoka, the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Lillie Coney and the American Civil Liberties Union’s Jay Stanley got a bit heated when Szoka argued that the federal and state governments should address privacy concerns by enforcing current laws instead of creating new ones.

Returning to the subject at hand, Stanley said the White House blueprint for privacy legislation could add new consumer protections, especially as companies experiment with new big data analysis that has “the potential to invade our privacy by revealing things we didn’t choose to reveal.”

Privacy battle just beginning: According to a report from Reuters, lobbyists for tech companies such as Apple and Google are working against initiatives that would block targeted, online behavioral advertising in advance of the Federal Trade Commission’s expected privacy recommendations.

The FTC report is expected to be much more strict on Web companies than the White House privacy framework proposed this year, the report said, citing unnamed sources “familiar with the agency’s thinking.” The report also said that the FTC would probably try to speed up firms’ adoption of do-not-track technology.

Mobile shopping: A recent report from Nielsen found that smartphone owners are turing to store Web sites instead of apps as they use their mobile devices for shopping, researching and redeeming coupons.

The study, released Monday, found that Amazon is the most popular Web site and appeals to shoppers of both sexes. Mobile shoppers to Target and Wal-Mart skew female, and shoppers to Best Buy skew male.

By  |  02:30 PM ET, 03/12/2012

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