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Archive | November, 2009

News Clipping

Now’s Your Chance To Spy On Google

By MSNBC.COM

10. November 2009

The Google Dashboard tool is also limited to information gathered on users when logged in to Google.  It
doesn’t give consumers access to information that might be tied to
individual consumers in other ways — such as searches associated with
individual computer IP address or cookies. That means it falls short of
being a true privacy tool, according to privacy rights advocacy group
Consumer Watchdog. "The
dashboard gives the appearance of control without the actual ability to
prevent Google from tracking you and delivering you to its marketers,”
said John M. Simpson, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization. "It
doesn’t reveal anything about what is at the heart of what I call
Google’s ‘black box’ — what is associated with your computer’s IP
address."

 

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Google Dashboard Provides Too Much Info And Yet Not Enough

By EWEEK.COM

7. November 2009

Indeed, privacy advocates, such as John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, argued Google’s gesture with Dashboard was just a straw man and that if the company really wanted to help it would allow users to prevent search information from being logged or to prevent Google from tracking a user’s online activity while surfing the Web.

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Poking At Google’s New Privacy Dashboard

By SECURITY FIX - WASHINGTON POST BLOG

6. November 2009

… Dashboard doesn’t really give users any
clearer insights into what the company is doing with all of the data it
collects. John Simpson, a consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog,
said if Google really wants people to use Dashboard, the company should
make it easier to find, noting that there are few links to the tool
from the landing pages of any Google properties. Simpson said Google
also should make it easier for users to blow away stored search and
activity data across multiple Google properties with a single click. "Google is maximizing the PR value of this feature in response to
critics who have demanded online privacy guarantees," Simpson said in a
written statement. "They are letting a little light shine into the
black box that is Google, but to claim that this is transparency is
absurd."

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Google Releases Dashboard Privacy Tool

By CNN.COM

5. November 2009

The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog,
which has been critical of the amount of personal data Google stores,
called the dashboard a small step in the right direction. "If
Google really wanted to give users control over their privacy it would
give consumers the ability to be anonymous from the company and its
advertisers in crucial areas such as search data and online behavior,"
spokesman John M. Simpson said on the group’s Web site. "The Dashboard
give the appearance of control without the actual ability to prevent
Google from tracking you and delivering you to its marketers."

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Dashboard Shows What Google Knows About You

By COMPUTERWORLD

5. November 2009


Critics Say Google Makes Some Privacy Progress, But Call For More Transparency

Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group formerly known as the
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said in a statement today
that it applauds Google for giving users a single place to go to manage
their data. But at the same tine, the group also came down hard on
Google, contending that it needs to give users a vehicle for stopping
the company from collecting any personal data. The company should also
provide a way for users to delete their information from Google’s
servers, the group added.

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Mixed Reviews For Google Dashboard

By TECH DAILY DOSE - NATIONAL JOURNAL

5. November 2009

Google launched an application Thursday that allows users to see what data is stored in their accounts, but at least one group says the effort doesn’t go far enough. The Google Dashboard is "designed to be simple and useful" and summarizes data for a range of products from e-mail and calendar applications to social networking and video sharing platforms. Consumer Watchdog, a group that has repeatedly thrashed Google for its advertising and privacy protection practices, said the Internet giant should let users opt out of tracking and delete information associated with their computer’s IP address from Google’s servers.

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Google Offers Users A Peek At Stored Data

By BITS - NYTIMES TECH BLOG

5. November 2009

Google, which has been criticized frequently for amassing large amounts of data about people, is giving users an easy way to find out what information it stores in their accounts. John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog, a frequent critic of Google, said
Dashboard gave users the appearance of control over privacy but did not
really prevent Google from tracking users across the Web. “What the Dashboard does is list all the information linked directly to
your name, but what it doesn’t do is let you know and control the data
directly tied to your computer’s IP address, which is Google’s black
box and data mine, Mr. Simpson said in a press release. “Google isn’t
truly protecting privacy until it lets you control that information.”

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Google Creates Privacy Dashboard

By DIGITS - WSJ TECH BLOG

5. November 2009

Google, which has had a bullseye on its back when it comes to Internet privacy, on Thursday launched a Web site that shows people what data Gmail, Google Calendar and more than a dozen other Google products store about them. John Simpson of consumer-advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog said
the dashboard focuses on data that people have consciously shared with
Google while they are logged into various Google accounts, but ignores
all the data that Google collects and ties to a user’s computer address
and through other software, known as cookies. “The dashboard is really the appearance of control without giving users
the ability to see how Google tracks them all over the place,” he said.

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Press Release

Google Dashboard Is Small Step For User Control, Consumer Watchdog Says

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

5. November 2009

Group Calls for ‘Make-Me-Anonymous’ Button On Home Page

SANTA MONICA, CA — The new Google Dashboard touted by the Internet
giant as offering users “transparency, choice and control” of user data
stored by the company doesn’t give consumers adequate control over
protecting their information from Google’s marketing machine, Consumer
Watchdog said today. Consumer Watchdog applauded the company for giving consumers a single
place to go to manage data, but said Google needed to give consumers
the ability to stop being tracked by the company and to delete
information associated with their computer’s IP address from the Google
servers.

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Big Bird’s Birthday: Part Of Google’s Charm Campaign?

By THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

4. November 2009

For Big Bird’s birthday, the Sesame Street icon’s feet replaced the L in Google’s search logo. Is Google pressing Big Bird into the service of its charm offensive?
      

Critics say its corporate motto of
“Don’t be evil” is a smoke screen for invasive procedures that are
stripping away privacy (like scanning your gmail account for keywords
to create targeted advertising). “I love Google. But I also fear Google,” says Jamie Court, president of
Consumer Watchdog. “It’s made finding information remarkably easy, but
I’m not under any illusion that that’s a free lunch. And most Internet
users have had their eyes opened recently to the fact that they are
being tracked and they don’t have a way of stopping that.”

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Google To Unveil New Privacy Controls

By THE TECH CHRONICLES (SF Chronicle Blog)

4. November 2009

Google Inc. will announce a feature tomorrow that will give users more
control over their online privacy, according to a consumer advocate who
discussed the matter with the company. John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog hasn’t reviewed Google Dashboard yet,
because he refused to sign a nondisclosure agreement. But attorneys for
the Mountain View search giant informed him the new feature would be
unveiled on Thursday, he told The Chronicle.

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Microsoft vs. Google: When It Comes To The Cloud, It’s War

By INDUSTRY STANDARD

4. November 2009

"All warfare is based on deception," goes the famous line attributed to Sun Tzu in the Art of War. It may very well be the operating principle that both Google and Microsoft have taken to heart in their battle for dominance of the office desktop and cloud. Case in point: The recent battle between the two companies
to sell office productivity and email services to the city of Los
Angeles. Last month, before the city made a decision, Google downplayed
an attack on the security of its cloud-based offerings by Consumer Watchdog
— but quickly published a "fact check" document to distribute to city
officials to support its claims about reliability and security. According to one report,
Google suggested that Consumer Watchdog was "being paid to target
Google specifically," without publicly naming the party allegedly
paying the group.

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