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Privacy Watchdog Suffers Google’s Ire

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Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Search Giant Tries To Pull Consumer Watchdog’s Funding

    The U.S. privacy and consumer protection group Consumer Watchdog today shot back at Google for allegedly trying to have its funding withdrawn.

    A letter from Bob Boorstin, Google’s Director of Corporate and Policy Communications, to a Consumer Watchdog sponsor, the Rose Foundation, expressed his hope that the Foundation would "consider whether there might be better groups in which to place your trust and resources."

    Consumer Watchdog found itself in Mountain View’s firing line after it investigated and publicised reports of Google’s lobbying efforts in Washington DC.

    Medical files available to all?

    The non-profit group suspects Google of lobbying Congress to weaken the current prohibition on the sale of medical records and shave off protections – a claim that Google denies.

    Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court said, ""Google should openly disclose all its lobbying positions on Capitol Hill. Google should publish all of its correspondence and policy communications to legislators, as we do, and as a way of practicing the open information culture it preaches."

    "We have tried to constructively engage Google on its privacy problems for about six months now. It’s remarkable that Google’s most rapid response to our privacy concerns is a letter from its director of Corporate and Policy Communications to the charity funding our work, seeking an end to its support."

    There’s more on the spat at the Consumer Watchdog website, where you can also find out more about their campaigns on Google and privacy.

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