Can you believe someone would do this to a dying 7-year old girl?

By | Website Lawyer | No Comments

Web lawyer privacyKathleen’s mother died of a brain disease when only 24 years old. Kathleen at age 7 is also dying of the same disease.

Neighbors have posted a pic of her mom on Facebook with the Grim Reaper. Kathleen gets similar treatment with a photo containing cross bones. h/t Parents: Dying Girl, 7, Taunted by Neighbors in Trenton.

When I wrote “Are Internet sociopaths out to get you?,” this is exactly the type of horrible conduct I was talk about. As a Web lawyer, I become increasingly cynical every time I see heart-rending stories like this one.

Unfortunately, blogs, forums, and social media tools like Facebook make it easy for sociopaths, psychopaths, and the permanently stupid to hurt people without consequences.

This partially explains the increasing awareness and demand for online privacy rights by Internet users. It also explains why privacy and personal safety are becoming big issues.

The same tools that are used to ridicule a dying little girl can just as easily be abused to stalk her or worse.

That’s why you should separate yourself from the crowd by making it clear to your website visitors that you respect privacy rights. You do this with your website privacy policy and your site’s content.

Whether you’ll be legally required to do so is one thing. Talk with your Web lawyer about what you’re supposed to be doing. Regardless, protecting privacy and treating people with respect is the right thing to do.

To your online success!

-Mike the Web lawyer

Opt Out Cookies: Behavioral Targeted Advertising and Protecting Your Privacy

By | Internet Lawyer | No Comments

behavioral-targeted-advertisingDespite claims, opt-out cookies will not substantively protect you from behavioral targeted advertising because tracking your website viewing habits is simply to profitable for Internet advertisers. And new Internet laws to strengthen opt-out processes won’t be effective for that reason either.

When you opt out of behavioral targeted advertisements, what exactly does that really mean? How many advertising networks does the opt out affect? How long will opt-out cookie last before it expires or is destroyed? And if you opted out on your desktop computer, how is that to stop tracking you the next time you’re online using your laptop?

Although the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) provides a way for you to opt out of behavioral targeted ads by its members, that’s just not going to be enough to protect your private information while surfing the Web.

If the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) follows through with true consumer privacy protection, look for opt out cookies to be replaced with a process that requires clear disclosures and informed consent with voluntary opt-ins before behavioral targeting can occur. This will hurt the effectiveness of targeted advertising and impose costs for “buying” the right to track individual Internet browsing habits.  On the other hand if the FTC does nothing, opt-out cookies will be used by advertising networks to pretend to protect privacy.