Recently, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (“EPIC”) asked the FTC to begin an investigation into a Google program called “Store Sales Management.”  The purpose of Store Sales Management is to allow for the matching goods purchased in physical brick and mortar stores to the clicking of online ads, or as we refer to the practice, “Bricks to Clicks.”

The significance of this is immense.  No longer will advertisers have to wonder how much revenue can be tied to a specific campaign, instead the Store Sales Management will give them insight into how actual consumers who viewed advertisements purchased certain products.  Continue Reading FTC Asked to Investigate Google’s Matching of “Bricks to Clicks”

Written by Jake Romero, CIPP

If you are one of the approximately 1.3 billion people who use Facebook, you’ve likely experienced the phenomenon where a single event (like Luiz Suarez biting that Italian guy or pretty much anything involving TSA) manages to raise the ire of a large number of your Facebook friends, causing them to flood your timeline with single-issue Facebook user rage.  Another recent event you likely heard about both on the news and through numerous status updates is Facebook’s 2012 experiment in which user timelines were manipulated to gauge users’ response to changes in the number of positive or negative posts.  After results of the study were published in March, many users became upset at the idea of possibly having unknowingly taken part in the study.  Now, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed a formal complaint asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate Facebook’s use of user data for research purposes as a deceptive trade practice. Continue Reading Backlash Over Facebook Timeline Experiment Serves as a Reminder: User Expectations Still Trump Fine Print