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Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023
Good Wednesday Morning to You!

Do media companies have the right to share the personal information they gather from you with Facebook without your permission? That is the basis of a potential class-action lawsuit that Lee Enterprises is facing. Kind of. Like nearly all major lawsuits, these things get a bit tricky. What makes it even more complicated is that only a handful of people truly understand Facebook’s algorithms and what and how much data it collects, keeps, sells or uses to its advantage in some way. At least for now.

Lee Enterprises, an Iowa corporation that publishes newspapers and other media in 26 states, asked for this privacy rights lawsuit to be dismissed, but U.S. District Judge Stephen Locher denied the request. That’s a good thing.

Lee collects a great deal of data from its readers, including the videos they watch on the company’s websites. They then allegedly share this data with Facebook, which the plaintiffs claim is a violation of federal law. Many parallels have been drawn to renting movies at a video store and having that data shared with other companies without warning the consumer. It’s not a perfect comparison, but it has merit.

It seems clear that Lee Enterprises chose to use Facebook’s tracking software and then chose not to properly notify the viewers of their websites about it. The truth of the matter — if there is any — is that by opening any type of relationship with Facebook, you subject yourself, your company, your friends and your customers to the social media giant’s tracking. We simply don’t know to what degree. That claim of ignorance won’t let Lee Enterprises off the hook entirely, but it may lessen the penalty somewhat if they choose to seek that route. But if Lee knowingly entered into this agreement and profited from it, that’s a very serious matter. The federal judge sees enough of a concern to let the case proceed. Again, that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, this should be a wake-up call to all businesses that use Facebook. Are you allowing Facebook to track the data of your customers, knowingly or unknowingly? Do you notify your customers about this? And what risk are you personally or your company at as a result of this?

The lawsuit claims Lee hasn’t informed their subscribers how their personal information is captured or transferred to Facebook. This concern stems from the Video Privacy Protection Act of 1988, which prohibits video providers from sharing, without consumers’ consent, any personally identifiable information that is tied to a customer’s viewing of prerecorded audio-video material. Consent is the key word, and most of us signed this away in the seemingly endless user agreement pages. The data should not be up for the taking, but that’s not likely to change. If nothing else comes from this, let’s hope the lawsuit pushes policy that will make the privacy warning statements simple and clear and that will punish the violators to the maximum.

Have a watchful Wednesday, and thanks for reading.

Shane Goodman
President and Publisher
Big Green Umbrella Media
515-953-4822, ext. 305

CITYVIEW's  Best Of Des Moines

CITYVIEW announced its 2023 Best Of Des Moines readers' choices Jan. 31. You can find all the results from the poll in the February issue of CITYVIEW magazine!

Best Local Winery

1. Jasper Winery

2. Summerset Winery

3. Madison County Winery


Read More

Your Clear Mortgage forecast

Rain chances will continue this morning and into the early afternoon before diminishing. Thursday and Friday look dry and hot, with our next best chance of rain coming on Saturday.

For help with preapprovals or refinancing, get in touch with Carrie at carrie.mortgage.

Featured Home For Sale
Attention Realtors, post your listings here for $50. Contact jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com for details.
6049 Meadowlark Court
Pleasant Hill, IA 50327
Come check out this adorable ranch townhome in a quiet neighborhood! 3 bedroom, 3 bathrooms with everything you need on the main floor. Open floor plan with vaulted ceilings, fireplace, hardwood floors, main floor master bedroom with an oversized walk-in closet, and large 3/4 bath.
See More Homes For Sale

Bushmills claims to be the oldest distillery in the world after more than 400 years of operation. (Buffalo Trace is the oldest in the U.S.) But sake maker Sudo Honke was founded in 1141 and is in the 55th generation of the same family. They are famous for keeping their environment pristine, believing sake is best when made with water from primal woods.

Marco's Pizza is offering 30% off any pie ordered online through Aug. 13. Krispy Kreme is offering watermelon chillers through Sunday. They are made with real fruit and sweetened with real sugar.

Wednesday brings half-priced martinis at The Lift (212 Fourth St.), half-priced margaritas at Malo (900 Mulberry St.), $3 glasses of wine and $10 "all you can eat" wings at Wellman's Pub (579 Market St., West Des Moines) and half-priced wine at Clyde's Fine Diner (111 E. Grand Ave.).

— Jim Duncan


FROM KCCI: Polk County unveils gun safety awareness campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa — Polk County unveiled a new gun safety initiative Tuesday called "Talk it up, lock it up." Polk County Health Department says gun injuries are one of the leading causes of death in children in Polk County. Doctors said they've seen those numbers go up over the last five years. ... READ MORE FROM KCCI

FROM WHO-TV: Zora owner seeks $10 million from Des Moines after bar closes

DES MOINES, Iowa – The owner of a troubled Des Moines bar that the city has asked to be declared a nuisance is fighting back, claiming the city’s “malicious” and reckless action caused his bar to close. ... READ MORE FROM WHO-TV

FROM WOI-DT Local 5: Court documents allege Iowa State QB Hunter Dekkers bet on ISU sports — including football

Dekkers, who was on the Cyclones football squad from 2020-2023, allegedly concealed his true identity and placed 26 wagers on ISU sporting events.. ...READ MORE FROM WOI-DT Local 5


Annual Panorama Days celebration set for Aug. 4-6.

For Panora Times

The three-day Panorama Days celebration that covers Panora and Lake Panorama begins Friday, Aug. 4, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 6. The theme for 2023 is “Sweet Home Panorama.”

Read more in the July issue of Panora Times! Full schedule of events included.

Birthdays and Notables!

Happy Birthday These celebrities were born on this date: Kevin Smith, Charli XCX, Mary-Louise Parker, Joanna Cassidy, Jacinda Barrett, Wes Craven, Butch Vig, Butch Patrick

SUBMIT: Send your birthday greetings and congratulatory notes to: tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com

Morning Chuckle

The answer to yesterday's riddle:
Did you hear about the farm dog who liked to strip ears of corn? HE WAS PART HUSKY! - Rex Post, Gail Tomlinson. Or, Carolyn Rogers adds: A corn (cairn) terrier ("tear"ier). Or one of its buddies, the husker (husky) or corn (coon) hound. Shucks, they're all "corn" dogs! Kris Laurson also said Tearier.

Today's Riddle

What do you call a redneck motorcycle?

Have a guess? Email tammy@iowalivingmagazines.com


If you would like to advertise in this daily newsletter, please contact Jolene Goodman at jolene@iowalivingmagazines.com, or call 515-953-4822 ext. 319.

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