The Switchboard: Defiant tech firms say they’ll notify users about data requests

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Tech companies defy government, will notify users of data requests: The country's most notable technology firms, including Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook, have changed or will change their policies to tell customers when governments request to see their data, unless specifically told to remain silent by a judge or other legal authority. As The Washington Post's Craig Timberg reported, the companies say that "users have a right to know in advance when their information is targeted for government seizure."

The announcement came shortly after the release of a long-awaited White House report examining the effect that large-scale data collection has on privacy, though the report barely touched on the issue of government surveillance.

Yahoo is the latest company ignoring Web users’ requests for privacy: Anyone paying attention to the debate over online privacy shouldn't have been surprised by Yahoo's decision earlier this week to stop support for Do Not Track, wrote Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin. The company announced its decision Wednesday, saying that there has been a lack of support within the industry for any one standard. Or, in Brodkin's words: "Yahoo isn't an outlier here."

eBay joins Apple, Google and Intel in settling anti-hiring cases:  The ranks of tech companies getting slammed for off-the-books agreements not to poach each other's employees gained one more name on Thursday: eBay. As The Switch's own Brian Fung wrote, eBay has settled two suits with the government -- one with the state of California and one with the Department of Justice -- over its informal agreement with Intuit. The company said it has reached a $3.75 million settlement with the state of California; terms of the Justice case were not made public.

Last week, Apple, Google, Adobe and Intel settled a class-action suit over wage collusion for a reported $324 million.

Google faces antitrust lawsuit on U.S. mobile Internet search: Google is facing a class-action lawsuit from consumers who say that company has "illegally monopolized" the mobile search market, reported Reuters' Arnab Sen. The complaint says that Google has manipulated the market by loading its search services onto devices running its Android mobile operating systems.

Hulu faces trial over sharing users’ video history with Facebook: Hulu faces a possible trial after a judge ruled its feature allowing viewers to share their video preferences by way of the Facebook "Like" button may violate the Video Privacy Protection Act, wrote Jeff John Roberts of GigaOm. Hulu has been facing a class-action lawsuit over the features. The law, originally enacted in the 1980s to protect consumers from having their rental histories revealed to the public, has tripped up streaming sites such as Netflix and Hulu as video rental has evolved into on-demand streaming video.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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