Hacker Accessed Customer Data From Orbitz Legacy System

Popular travel booking site Orbitz, owned by Expedia, confirmed yesterday that it “identified and remediated a data security incident affecting a legacy travel booking platform.” The company explained that a hack late last year exposed customer data and billing information spanning two years. Personal data may have included birth dates, mailing addresses, email addresses, gender, payment card info, and more. According to Orbitz, about 880,000 credit cards may have been affected. However, the company noted that the current Orbitz.com site was not breached. Continue reading Hacker Accessed Customer Data From Orbitz Legacy System

Walmart Builds Its Own Cloud Computing Farm to Rival Amazon

In five years, Walmart invested millions of dollars in six giant server farms that now account for 80 percent of its cloud capacity. The move has enabled the company to keep up with its burgeoning growth for the last three quarters. Most retail businesses rent cloud computing, but Walmart’s determination to best Amazon led to its decision to build its own cloud network. With this internal network, the company can leverage all its customer data, be competitive with its prices and control inventory and other key functions. Continue reading Walmart Builds Its Own Cloud Computing Farm to Rival Amazon

MoviePass Continues Rapid Ascent, Tops 1 Million Subscribers

MoviePass is a service that lets subscribers attend up to one 2D movie screening per day in theaters for a monthly charge. Shortly after a price drop to $9.95 per month in August (from a tiered $15-$50 model), the New York-based company announced it had jumped to 400,000 customers. By October, that number increased to 600,000. Last month, MoviePass dropped its monthly fee again for a limited time offer of about $6.95 per month for those willing to pay up front for a year. Now the company announced it “has since reached one million subscribers in less time than Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix.” Continue reading MoviePass Continues Rapid Ascent, Tops 1 Million Subscribers

E-Commerce Giant Amazon Looking to Offer Event Ticketing

According to multiple sources, Amazon is currently looking to team with venue owners to sell event tickets online in a move that would provide consumers with more options and potentially loosen Ticketmaster’s hold on the lucrative business sector. The move could also generate more Amazon Prime members for the world’s largest online retailer, while introducing new merchandising opportunities for its partners. “The Seattle-based company sees the U.S. ticketing market as ripe for attack,” reports TechCrunch. “Consumers dislike ticket fees, and venue owners, sports leagues and teams want more distributors for their tickets as they seek to boost sales.” Continue reading E-Commerce Giant Amazon Looking to Offer Event Ticketing

EU Considers Implementing New Rules for Big Web Platforms

The European Union’s executive body may establish new rules to give a fairer shake to small businesses using popular Web platforms. Currently, the EU deems that platforms such as Google, Amazon and TripAdvisor set unfair terms for the small businesses that sell or promote products there. These businesses have been complaining to the EU about unilateral contract changes, no access to sales and customer data, below-par transparency regarding their rankings in search results, and no means to resolve disputes. Continue reading EU Considers Implementing New Rules for Big Web Platforms

Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Respond to Backlash on Privacy

Since Congress overturned the Internet privacy rules preventing Internet service providers from sharing or selling customers’ Web browsing history, ISPs have been under attack. Now, Comcast, AT&T and Verizon have published blog posts to reassure their customers. Comcast said it does not sell its broadband customers’ Web browsing histories and has no plans to do so in the future. Verizon made a similar claim, and AT&T’s tack is to tell customers that the nixed privacy laws wouldn’t have really protected them. Continue reading Comcast, AT&T and Verizon Respond to Backlash on Privacy

Congress Makes a Move to Change New Internet Privacy Rules

The Republican-controlled Senate voted yesterday to reverse FCC privacy protections created under the Obama administration and former FCC chair Tom Wheeler that would have forbidden Internet service providers from using customer data without permission for use in targeted ads. “The measure passed in a 50-to-48 vote largely along party lines,” reports The New York Times. “The House is expected to mirror the Senate’s action next week, followed by a quick signature from President Trump.” The decision means service providers would not require permission to track and share the browsing and app activities of its customers. Continue reading Congress Makes a Move to Change New Internet Privacy Rules

Departure of FCC’s Tom Wheeler Could Impact Net Neutrality

The FCC announced that Tom Wheeler will resign his chair position on January 20. The Obama appointee led the agency for the last three years. It is customary for the chairperson to resign when there is a new administration. Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel’s nomination for another term was also impacted last week by the Senate’s decision not to vote prior to adjourning for the year. Rosenworcel is expected to step down by the end of December. President-elect Donald Trump will have two FCC seats to fill, one from each major party. Meanwhile, the departures leave the agency with two Republican commissioners and one Democratic commissioner. Continue reading Departure of FCC’s Tom Wheeler Could Impact Net Neutrality

FCC Will Regulate Cable, Wireless Companies on Data Privacy

In a shift in the status quo, the Federal Communications Commission will take over the Federal Trade Commission’s power to regulate Internet access providers regarding customer privacy. The FCC already proposes new rules to shield users from unwanted use of their Internet data. Impacted cable and wireless firms are protesting that the rules would target them unfairly, putting them at a disadvantage against Internet service firms such as Facebook and Google, which will continue to be regulated by the FTC. Continue reading FCC Will Regulate Cable, Wireless Companies on Data Privacy

Cisco Reveals Unauthorized Cloud Usage Trend in Companies

Cisco released new data that shows some companies may not know the extent of their employees’ usage of external cloud computing services, instead of the employer’s in-house cloud services. The practice of using systems inside organizations without approval is called “Shadow IT.” According to Cisco, there is 70 percent more Shadow IT activity than there was six months ago. Cisco gathered the data by surveying CIOs and running software that could track cloud activity. Unauthorized cloud usage could pose serious security threats. Continue reading Cisco Reveals Unauthorized Cloud Usage Trend in Companies

Advertisers Face an Increase in Ad-Blocking, Search for Fixes

The use of ad-blocking software is increasing to the point that some advertisers say it could be perilous to the Internet’s economic model. And it’s about to get worse for them. Whereas, now, ad-blocking software is limited to desktop computers, Apple iOS 9 will extend ad-blocking to mobile phones as well. But there could be a solution, say some experts. Advertisers are going to have to create simpler, less intrusive ads to survive. The other option — begging for customers to disable ad-blocking — hasn’t seen much success. Continue reading Advertisers Face an Increase in Ad-Blocking, Search for Fixes

Amazon Dash Button Helps Shoppers Conveniently Place Orders

Amazon introduced the Dash Button this week, a Wi-Fi-enabled button that can be attached to surfaces in your home and pushed to order household products rather conveniently. Each button is branded with a unique product logo and linked to the Amazon mobile shopping app so customers can customize their automated orders. Amazon says that the Dash Button is a precursor to its Dash Replenishment Service (DRS), which will enable physical goods to automatically restock when supplies are low.   Continue reading Amazon Dash Button Helps Shoppers Conveniently Place Orders

Google Experiments with New Approach to Individual Privacy

Google is re-evaluating its privacy standards with a new open source tool that is designed to maintain confidentiality among participants being evaluated in heavy data sets. The ongoing project, known as RAPPOR, stems from a 1960’s technique that disrupts the correlation between a given data point and the individual behind that data point. The project is set to preserve the privacy and identity of the individual that is often vulnerable in the hands of companies today. Continue reading Google Experiments with New Approach to Individual Privacy

Why Analysts Are Concerned About the JP Morgan Data Breach

In an era of system hacks becoming more common, JP Morgan is the latest to report a massive breach of customer information. While the company believed a few weeks ago that only one million accounts were affected, it now reports that 76 million households and 8 million small businesses were part of the data breach. While recent breaches have largely involved retailers, some analysts are more concerned about the JP Morgan case, especially since banks tend to have more sensitive data about their customers. Continue reading Why Analysts Are Concerned About the JP Morgan Data Breach

Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

Netflix devotes significant resources in order to develop its rating and recommendation systems, which is a key component of the service. The company employs 800 engineers to operate the service. Netflix estimates that 75 percent of viewing activity is now recommendation driven. The company uses several types of customer data in order to create the personalized recommendations, and uses behavior of similar users to suggest preferences. Continue reading Netflix Viewing Activity Is Largely Recommendation Driven

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