Archive | July, 2009

Blog Post

Grad student sparks online advertising reforms

Posted by

31. July 2009

1 Comment

A week ago I wrote about how a graduate student, Chris Soghoian, had exposed the online industry-touted…

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Long Term, The Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Could Benefit Consumers

By SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

31. July 2009

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog raised concerns about how users’ personal data is collected, stored and shared. He’s worried about "up-until-now separate databases being merged and
used in ways that haven’t been made explicit." Simpson hopes to see
Microsoft and Yahoo come up with a data retention policy that expunges
personal information in about a month and says that, by default, they
shouldn’t collect behavioral information unless consumers opt-in.

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Microsoft-Yahoo Deal Faces Moderate Antitrust Scrutiny, Say Experts

By WASHINGTON INTERNET DAILY

30. July 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo finally tied the knot, but they signed an expansive pre-nup to limit antitrust scrutiny. Vocal Google critic Consumer Watchdog didn’t denounce the deal
outright, noting that "some have suggested" that the tie-up may
increase competition against Google. But the Microsoft-Yahoo deal is a
chance for regulators to "set to the gold standard for privacy
guarantees by Internet companies and for the government to use its
leverage to obtain it," it said. Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson said
the FTC should take a strong lead on privacy matters. "If the result of
this deal is that there are two stronger Internet search enterprises
who exploit users’ data at the expense of their privacy rights,
consumers are worse off, not better," he said. "Justice and the FTC can
– and must — insist on this."

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Consumer Advocates Exhort DOJ, FTC To Scrutinize Microsoft-Yahoo Deal

By eWEEK

30. July 2009

John Simpson, an advocate with non-profit group Consumer Watchdog, also
said the Microhoo deal must be closely scrutinized by the Federal Trade
Commission, the Justice Department and the European Commission to
ensure that there are no antitrust violations and that user privacy is
guaranteed. "If the result of this deal is that there are two stronger Internet
search enterprises who exploit users’ data at the expense of their
privacy rights, consumers are worse off, not better," said Simpson.
"Users must have control of their data—whether it is collected and how
it is used. Guarantees of that control must be in place before this
deal is approved. Justice and the FTC can—and must—insist on this."

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Microsoft, Yahoo Finally Sign Search Deal

By SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

30. July 2009

Microsoft and Yahoo clearly are bracing for regulatory scrutiny. The news release emphasized that the two companies will "continue to compete vigorously" in other areas, including e-mail, instant messaging and display advertising. It also stressed that the agreement restricts the sharing of search and other data.
Consumer Watchdog in Washington, D.C., called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to probe the deal for potential antitrust violations and privacy concerns.

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Microsoft-Yahoo! Pact Hit With Anti-Trust Question

By THE REGISTER (UK)

29. July 2009

Three-Into-Two Doesn’t Wash

Consumer Watchdog noted the competitive search and advertising
landscape will deteriorate – not improve – if the result is two
enterprises that exploit users’ data at the expense of their privacy
rights. John Simpson, an advocate with the group, said the FTC and DoJ must
insist users retain control of their data, how it’s used, and where its
stored. "Users must have control of their data – whether it is collected and
how it is used. Guarantees of that control must be in place before this
deal is approved. Justice and the FTC can – and must – insist on this,"
he said in a statement.

Share
Continue reading...

Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Calls On Feds To Get User Privacy And Antitrust Guarantees In Proposed Microsoft-Yahoo! Deal

CONTACT: 310-392-0522 ext. 317 or cell 310-292-1902

29. July 2009

Santa Monica CA — The proposed 10-year partnership on Internet search
and search advertising between Microsoft and Yahoo! must be closely
scrutinized by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department
to ensure there are no antitrust violations and that user privacy is
guaranteed, Consumer Watchdog said today.

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Experts: Make the (Transparent) Case for Behavioral Advertising

By IT BUSINESS EDGE

28. July 2009

When the online advertising industry recently issued seven principles to protect consumer privacy, you could see the lines being drawn. John Simpson, consumer advocate for California-based nonprofit Consumer
Watchdog, doesn’t believe this industry will be able to regulate
itself. He believes opting in should be consumers’ choice, not the current
model where they have to work to opt out of having their Web-surfing
habits monitored. He says that if advertisers clearly explain their
programs and how that benefits customers, those users are likely to be
willing to be part of it.

Share
Continue reading...

News Clipping

Twitter Breach Revives Security Issues With Cloud Computing

By COMPUTERWORLD

27. July 2009

Concerns are the same as with any outsourcing, remote data access, IT managers say.

Consumer Watchdog group said the Twitter incident raises the question
of whether "Google’s cloud as offered provides adequate safeguards."
Moving medical and health-related records, and information on domestic
and sexual assault and substance abuse to Google raises concerns over
how such sensitive data will be protected, the group wrote in a letter
addressed to City Council members. "Before jumping into the Google deal, the City Council needs to insist
on appropriate guarantees — for instance substantial financial
penalties in the event of any security breach," John Simpson, a
consumer advocate for the group wrote.

Share
Continue reading...

Blog Post

Online behavioral advertising opt-out procedures misleading

Posted by

23. July 2009

Earlier this month  the Network Advertising Initiative (NIA), a trade association that includes some of the biggest online advertising companies like Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft…

Share
Continue reading...

Blog Post

Warning issued on Google Books privacy threat

Posted by

23. July 2009

Much of the focus on the proposed Google Books settlement has been on antitrust concerns….

Share
Continue reading...

Blog Post

Heat is on Google, so it ups lobbying spending 30%

Posted by

23. July 2009

What do you do if you’re a gargantuan Internet company that’s come under increased scrutiny, despite your "Don’t-be-evil" mantra?  Send in the…

Share
Continue reading...

Blog Post

L.A. delays consideration of Google email plan

Posted by

22. July 2009

Consideration of a proposal to move the City of Los Angles’ email and other computer applications to a system run by…

Share
Continue reading...