Digital Daily Dozen 12/19/2013

Rockefeller to Marketing Data Giants: You’re On Notice

"We have a feeling people are getting scammed or screwed," said Senator Jay Rockefeller, whose office sent inquiries to several data brokers in the past year. He called out data giants Acxiom, Epsilon and Experian, threatening to use more forceful ways of getting them to divulge information about how they do business.

Kansas Board Says Universities Can Fire Employees for ‘Improper’ Tweets

The Kansas Board of Regents unanimously approved new policy language on Wednesday that gives state university leaders the authority “to suspend, dismiss, or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media.”

More Ads Seen By VOD Viewers Than DVR Or Live TV

TV network executives will be happy to learn that homes with video-on-demand services continue to watch more of the commercials that run in TV programming. Video-on-demand TV viewers who view a 30-minute TV program watch an average total of 28 minutes — programming and commercials.

FCC Votes To Eliminate Sports Blackout Rule

FCC has voted unanimously for a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would eliminate the sports blackout rules. The rules, adopted 40 years ago, prohibit cable and satellite providers from carrying the game if it is blacked out on over-the-air TV due to insufficient ticket sales.

Netflix’s Hastings: Personalization Is Double-Edged Sword

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that the content personalization online delivery makes possible is a double-edged sword. Hastings said that personalization is great for the user in the short term in that it makes it likely they can find relevant news and entertainment. The long-term danger, he said, was "Balkanization."

Why Cable Mergers Could Dominate 2014

What do Scripps Network, Dish and Time Warner Cable have in common? All could see big deals as scale equals power in the booming TV business. Will cable television be the big deal frontier in 2014? After a 2012 decline in mergers and acquisitions in media and entertainment, there has been a 9 percent uptick.

Tech leaders seek borderless world, now (Commentary)

The great irony of Tuesday’s meeting between President Obama and tech CEOs was that, in its focus on the National Security Agency’s Internet spying, it signaled how much the Silicon Valley mind-set long ago moved beyond identifying with the nation the agency was purporting to protect.

The UN General Assembly called for an end to excessive electronic surveillance and expressed concern at the harm such scrutiny, including spying in foreign states and the mass collection of personal data, may have on human rights. The call was included in a resolution drafted by Germany and Brazil.


US District Court Judge Richard Leon has effectively handed the NSA four assignments in public relations — crucial assignments the agency has so far avoided, evaded, or simply failed to carry out. Define metadata, Explain traffic analysis, Make the case for the effectiveness of traffic analysis and its application.


In the 1970s, the Internet was a small, decentralized collective of computers. This is not the Internet we know today. Nearly two decades later, a staggering percentage of communications flow through a small set of corporations — and thus, under the profound influence of those companies and other institutions.

Research shows how MacBook Webcams can spy on their users without warning

While controlling a camera remotely has long been a source of concern to privacy advocates, conventional wisdom said there was at least no way to deactivate the warning light. New evidence indicates otherwise. Now research from Johns Hopkins University provides the first public confirmation that it’s possible to do just that.

Google: It Pays to Be Evil During the Holidays
Google appears poised to benefit more than ever from the e-commerce boom, thanks in part to its shopping search engine. Unlike regular search results, Google’s shopping results are made entirely of paid advertising, which retailers have "embraced with a vengeance." dubs ‘privacy’ their word of the year. But visiting their homepage sets 90 cookies. has chosen their word of the year: Privacy. Among the reasons for their choice, the online dictionary cited recent NSA surveillance program revelations. But it also has a ring of irony due to the site’s particularly robust consumer-tracking efforts.

The Digital Daily Dozen is distributed weekdays (usually) by Dom Caristi as a service of the BSU Digital Policy Institute. The articles are culled from various e-newsletters. The content is not original – only their compilation in this mailing is.