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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 08:22 AM ET, 05/19/2011

The Circuit: Privacy hearing, Apple and EMI, Eric Schmidt vs. MPAA

LEADING THE DAY: The Senate Commerce Consumer Protection subcommittee will address the issue of mobile privacy Thursday morning. The panel will look at ways to ensure the emerging mobile market is in compliance with federal privacy law. Much of the hearing is expected to focus much on kids’ privacy.

Apple, Google, Facebook and apps developers will speak at the hearing along with David Vladeck, the head of the FTC’S Consumer Protection bureau. Amy Guggenheim Shenkan, president and chief operating officer of the children’s advocacy group Common Sense Media, is expected to advocate for a law that specifically protects the mobile privacy of teenagers. The current law focuses on protecting children 13 and under, leaving teens--among the most prolific users of mobile technology, in a vulnerable position--The Washington Post reported.

Apple signs a deal with EMI?: Apple has apparently signed a cloud-music licensing deal with EMI Music Group, CNET reported, and is nearing deals with Universal Music Group and Sony Entertainment. The deals could put Apple in position to launch a cloud-based music service with more features and flexibility than either Amazon or Google, who both began offering music lockers without finalizing deals with the music industry.

Apple is already believed to have signed a deal with Warner Music Group.

Google’s Schmidt talks IP: Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said yesterday that if the U.S. passes a law that allows the government to blacklist certain Web sites, Google will “fight it.” Blocking Web sites that host pirated content is a main provision of the PROTECT IP bill Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) proposed last week.

"If there is a law that requires DNSs to do X and it's passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President of the United States and we disagree with it then we would still fight it," he told The Guardian at a London conference on Wednesday.

Those comments didn’t sit well with the folks at the Motion Picture Association of America, who called Schmidt’s comments “outrageous.”

“As an American company respected around the world, it’s unfortunate that, at least according to its executive chairman’s comments, Google seems to think it’s above America’s laws,” the MPAA’s chief lobbyist Michael O’Leary said in a statement.

“Like” button traffic tracking: The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Facebook “Like” and Twitter “Tweet” buttons used on millions of Web sites track visitors, even if they don’t click on the buttons. A person only needs to have signed into either Facebook or Twitter once in the past month to be tracked. Those who have explicitly logged out of their social network are not tracked.

Facebook, Google and Twitter told the Journal that they do not use the browser data collected from these widgets to track users. All the sites delete it within 90 days, if not sooner, the report said.

LinkedIn IPO: Professional social networking site LinkedIn (LNKD) will begin trading public shares this morning at a stock price of $45, Reuters reported. That implies a $4.25 billion valuation, and sets the bar for other anticipated tech IPOs from companies such as Facebook, Groupon and Twitter.

By  |  08:22 AM ET, 05/19/2011

Tags:  Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Privacy, IP, LinkedIn

 
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