Digital Daily Dozen: 6/23/15

The Digital Daily Dozen for June 23, 2015.

Privacy group asks FTC to investigate Uber (USA Today) A privacy rights group filed complaint against Uber at the Federal Trade Commission over the ride-hailing service’s new policy that gives it the right to track users even if they’re not currently using the Uber app. The new privacy policy is scheduled to go into effect on July 15. Uber announced it on May 28. 

Streaming music: You need to be superstar to make money (USA Today) Pop superstar Taylor Swift has the right idea: musicians should be better compensated for their online music. But first, she’s going to have to find folks willing to pay for digital music in the first place. The tiff between Apple Music and Swift over royalty rights obscured this hard truth: consumers love it, but they don’t want to pay.

Virtual Reality Is Still Not Ready for Primetime (Recode) Virtual reality evangelists are still promising a glorious future where VR brings as dramatic and important changes to our lives as the mobile phone. Some of their prognostications may yet prove true. But just as then, there’s reason to be wary of the hype around the latest swing at immersive technology.

With Supreme Court Hotel Registry Ruling, Google Bags Privacy Win (Recode) In a 5-4 ruling, the Court overturned an ordinance in LA permitting police to seize information from hotel registries on demand, sans warrant. Justice Sotomayor deemed the ordinance unconstitutional and claimed hotel owners should be able to sign off on these searches first. The city’s law was written to extend to any business.

Big Data’s Big Impact on the Future of Advertising (Recode) Technology innovation will make it possible to trim a great deal of waste out of advertising by making it more precise. As advertising becomes more precise, it will become more efficient, which will drive up its ROI. This higher ROI will then lead to more investment in advertising. Yes, spending more will become the attractive option. 

LPTVs to FCC: See You in Court (Broadcasting & Cable) Mike Gravino, director of the LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition, says that taking the FCC to court over the incentive auction is now a “given.” That comes after the FCC denied more than two dozen LPTV decisions to reconsider various aspects of the upcoming incentive auction.

TWC Hit With Net Neutrality Complaint (Broadcasting & Cable) Time Warner Cable is the subject of a net neutrality interconnection-related complaint that appears to assert that a peering issue can be subject to bright-line rules the FCC had suggested in its Feb. 26 open Internet order did not apply. 

PBS, CBP, APTS: FCC Disregarding Needs of Viewers (Broadcasting & Cable) Noncommercial TV stations were taking aim at the FCC’s rejection of their petition to insure that there is still a channel available for noncommercial stations in each market after the broadcast incentive auction. They suggest that, for the first time, the FCC is subjecting the future of noncommercial TV to commercial market forces.

Nation’s Poor to the FCC: “We’re Way Ahead of You.” [Commentary] (Inside Sources) As I think most American’s would agree, the FCC is right for caring about the poor, but the agency’s plan doesn’t put that care into action. Despite Chairman Wheeler’s statements to the contrary, this isn’t a partisan issue. It’s an evidence issue. Why does Lifeline make no impact? The poor purchase service without the subsidy.

Surveillance Court Justifies Restarting NSA’s Bulk Telephone Spying Program (Inside Sources) The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court set the stage to restart the NSA’s bulk telephone surveillance program, originally left to expire by Congress along with several Patriot Act spying authorities last month. In the opinion, the secret court asserted Congress’ passage of the USA Freedom Act gave the court a green light.

Popular Security Software Came Under Relentless NSA and GCHQ Attacks (First Look) The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, Government Communications Headquarters, have worked to subvert anti-virus and other security software in order to track users and infiltrate networks, according to documents from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Major Internet Providers Slowing Traffic Speeds for Thousands Across US (The Guardian) Major Internet providers, including AT&T, Time Warner and Verizon, are slowing data from popular websites to thousands of US businesses and residential customers in dozens of cities across the country, according to a study. The study, conducted by Internet activists BattlefortheNet, looked at the results from 300,000 internet users.

Australia Passes Controversial Anti-Piracy Web Censorship Law (Arstechnica) A controversial bill to allow websites to be censored has been passed by both houses of the Australian parliament. The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 allows companies to go to a Federal Court judge to get overseas sites blocked if their “primary purpose” is facilitating copyright infringement.