News and Notes: GoldieBlox Settles With Beasties, White House Seeks Public Tech Input

Late last year, GoldieBlox, a manufacturer of construction toys geared toward girls, reworked a song by The Beastie Boys for a commercial (no longer available online, for reasons that will become clear).  Trouble is, GoldieBlox didn’t ask first, and combined with the group’s strong aversion to having their music used in advertisements, legal action ensued.  A pre-emptive lawsuit by the toy company didn’t help matters.

A settlement was reached in the case.  Specifics were not forthcoming in the legal document, but GoldieBlox posted an apology to the main page of its website (a copy is available – H/T Rolling Stone – for future reference).

The White House has recently issued requests for comment on various data policies that the public should consider.  One is about the review of big data (really large sets of data collected on individuals) and privacy announced in January.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy is handling part of that project, for which it issued a request for information (responses are due by March 31).  But if you’d rather not go to that level of detail, the White House has a more informal input form on its website to get your thoughts on how various groups use big data.

The White House is also looking for feedback on some of its digital presence.  This includes an update to the website privacy policy (which will take effect on April 18).  You may want to review this before completing the big data form linked to above.  Also under review are the White House digital content practices.

Finally, in late February the White House posted on its blog about the progress of agency open government plans.  Building on the government’s second Open Government National Action Plan released last December, agencies will be working on revising agency plans.  Feedback is welcomed, and you can check agency plans by placing a /open after the agency website address.


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