• On April 8, 2010, a coalition of public interest groups, including the Center for Digital Democracy and the World Privacy Forum, submitted a complaint to the FTC requesting an investigation of privacy concerns arising from the advertising technologies used by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft, among others. Specifically, the group requests that the FTC examine the technology that analyzes an Internet user’s online behavior, and allows advertisers to target and even bid in real-time auctions to display certain ads to those users, without the user’s awareness or consent. A copy of the complaint can be found here.
  • Like his House counterparts, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D- Vt.), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he plans to hold hearings on “much-needed updates” to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 (“ECPA”) in the coming months. “While the question of how best to balance privacy and security in the 21st century has no simple answer, what is clear is that our federal electronic privacy laws are woefully outdated,” Leahy said in a written statement. House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, Jr. (D.-Mich.), Jerrold Nadler (D.-NY), Chair of the House Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, and Robert “Bobby” Scott (D.-Va.), Chair of the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security have recently announced plans to hold hearings to consider changes to the law. Google, Microsoft and other tech companies have also called for tougher laws that raise the standards for government access to e-mail, instant messages, and personal files that are stored online.