Connecticut looks into eBook price deals

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said on Aug. 2 that he was investigating deals struck by Amazon.com and Apple to offer low prices on electronic books, saying the agreements might block rivals from providing attractive pricing, Reuters reports. Earlier this year, Amazon and Apple agreed to deals with large publishers, ensuring rival booksellers would not be able to receive an even lower price, Blumenthal said. Among those publishers were Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Penguin. Blumenthal sent letters to Amazon and Apple asking to meet with officials to address the concerns. “The eBook market is set to explode …, warranting prompt review of the potential anti-consumer impacts,” he said in a statement. “This restriction blocks cheaper and competitive prices for consumers.” Blumenthal, a Democrat, is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Christopher Dodd…

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Connecticut heads up 30-state Google Wi-Fi probe

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal plans to head up a 30-state investigation into Google’s Wi-Fi data gathering scandal, CNET reports. Blumenthal’s investigation adds to the legal headaches for Google caused by the revelation that its Street View camera cars were collecting wireless “payload” data in addition to geolocation data from unsecured wireless hot spots. Ever since Google revealed the extent of its data gathering a month ago in response to inquiries from German regulators, lawyers and politicians have been lining up to express their outrage. “Consumers have a right and a need to know what personal information—which could include eMails, web browsing, and passwords—Google may have collected, how, and why,” Blumenthal said in an online statement. “Google must come clean, explaining how and why it intercepted and saved private information broadcast over personal and business wireless networks.” Google has argued that the data it collected were “fragmented,” because Street View cars were moving and the equipment used to record data was changing wireless channels several times a second. The company also has said that it collected the data inadvertently, and the company’s intent will be a key part of the legal battle between Google and its critics…

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Connecticut investigating Google’s use of private data

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on June 7 urged Google to “come clean to the American public” on whether the search engine illegally collected data in the state from personal and business wireless computer networks for its mapping service, becoming the first U.S. state to join in what has become an international controversy, reports the Associated Press. The controversy stems from the search engine’s Street View feature, which provides pictures of neighborhoods. Last month, Google representatives acknowledged they had mistakenly collected data over public Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries. During a news conference, Blumenthal said the data collection could give Google access to personal eMail messages, passwords, and web browsing histories, though he had no reports of any problems. “People have legitimate expectations that private information will be kept private,” he said. “These drive-by data sweeps may violate not only those expectations, but also possibly the law.” Authorities in Germany and Australia already have launched their own investigations into the matter…

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