• FTC Commissioner Pamela Jones Harbour stated that Google, Facebook, and other major U.S. companies need to “step up” their privacy protection efforts or face tougher penalties from the FTC. Commissioner Harbour, who is leaving the FTC next month, expressed concern that many of these companies are not taking appropriate steps to safeguard their users’ privacy. In particular, she noted that too many companies continue to launch products where the guiding privacy policy seems to be “Throw it up against the wall and see if it seems to stick.” She made her comments at the FTC privacy roundtable held this week in Washington, DC. A full article on the topic can be found here.
  • News reports surfaced identifying Verizon as the main instigator of the FTC’s investigation into Google’s proposed $750 million acquisition of mobile advertising company AdMob. Verizon may be concerned that the AdMob deal could be a prelude to Google launching its own wireless network, thereby becoming a competitor to Verizon Wireless. Google has previously expressed interest in becoming a wireless provider by participating in spectrum auctions and its development of the Android Smartphone platform. A full article on the topic can be found here.

More general information can be found here.