Microsoft, Google trade barbs again: Microsoft and Google are back to trading punches after reports last week that Google was circumventing privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser. Microsoft had initially taken the opportunity to tout the security of its Internet Explorer browser but said Monday that Google was also bypassing standards in that browser, too.
Dean Hachamovitch, the corporate vice president of Internet Explorer, said in a company blog post that Google was bypassing a Microsoft privacy standard called P3P privacy protection. The P3P standard allows Web sites to explain how they intend to use the information they collect about users.
In a statement, Google said that the Microsoft P3P policy is “widely non-operational” and that over 11,000 Web sites do not use the protocol.
“It is well known - including by Microsoft - that it is impractical to comply with Microsoft’s request while providing modern web functionality,” Google’s senior vice president of communications and policy Rachel Whetstone said in a statement. “We have been open about our approach, as have many other websites.”
Commerce report expected: The U.S. Department of Commerce is expected to soon release its report on how best to improve online privacy this week, perhaps as early as Wednesday. The report has been highly anticipated and is expected to lay out a framework for privacy protection.
The report is likely to provide guidance for global companies dealing with the privacy regulations in several different countries.
Comcast launches minority-owned networks: Comcast has will launch four networks, including one from rapper Sean Combs and one from former NBA star Magic Johnson, as part of its pledge to have more minority-owned networks.
The networks will focus on the African-American and Hispanic communities. Johnson’s “Aspire” and Combs’ “Revolt” will focus on family programming and music and pop culture news, respectively. Director Robert Rodriguez will also have a network, “El Rey,” which will include a variety of programs in English for Latino audiences. BabyFirst Americas, from Spanish language television producer Cosntantino Schwarz, is designed for infants and toddlers.
The networks are part of Comcast’s promise to launch 10 independently-owned networks following its merger with NBCUniversal.
Yahoo adds to govt. relations team: Yahoo has announced that Nicole Alexander will join its government relations team as the director of government affairs. Alexander, who is currently a legislative director for Rep. Pete Olson (R-Tex.), will be taking over privacy issues.
Alexander will report to Margaret Nable, the head of Yahoo’s federal relations team.
FCC’s McDowell warns against U.N. net rule: In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, FCC commissioner Robert McDowell said that the United Nations’ proposal to establish “international control over the Internet” is poised to “upend the Internet’s flourishing regime.”
The proposal, which would create a top-down authority to oversee Internet regulation, runs the risk of balkanizing the Internet, McDowell said.
“Any attempts to expand intergovernmental powers over the Internet—no matter how incremental or seemingly innocuous—should be turned back,” McDowell wrote. “Modernization and reform can be constructive, but not if the end result is a new global bureaucracy that departs from the multi-stakeholder model.”