Archive | January, 2010

Blog Post

FTC focusing on online privacy concerns

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29. January 2010

Online privacy protection for consumers has been built around the idea of "notice and choice" but it was clear to me at Thursday’s Federal Trade Commission…

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Google E-Book Bid Still Under Fire

By UNITED KINGDOM PRESS ASSOCIATION

29. January 2010

Google’s bid to secure the digital rights to millions of books
remains under attack from rivals and other critics trying to block a
revised legal settlement that would unlock a vast electronic library.
The most strident criticism to the
changes so far has come from the same foes that have spearheaded the
resistance since last summer. The opposing camp includes the Open Book
Alliance, a group including Google rivals Microsoft Corporation, Yahoo
and Amazon.com, as well as Consumer Watchdog, a group that fights abusive business practices.

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Last-Minute Objections Filed To Google Book Settlement

By AGENCE PRESS FRANCE

29. January 2010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Critics of the revised legal settlement with US authors
and publishers that would allow Google to scan and sell millions of
books online filed a flurry of last-minute objections on Thursday. Consumer Watchdog said "the revised settlement suffers from the same fundamental problems as its predecessor." It
said it notably fails to do enough to protect reader privacy, violates
copyright laws and gives "unfair competitive advantages to Google."

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Groups File Briefs In Google Books Case

By TECH DAILY DOSE

28. January 2010

Consumer Watchdog urged the court to reject the settlement, saying
it’s anticompetitive and violates U.S. and international law. "This
scheme acts to the disadvantage of absent class members and would
result in unfair competitive advantages to Google in the search engine,
electronic book sales, and other markets, to the detriment of the
public interest. Along the way, the settlement raises significant
international law and privacy concerns," the group said in it’s brief.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Urges Court To Reject Amended Google Books Deal

CONTACT: cell 310-292-1902 or Carmen Balber 202-629-3043

28. January 2010

Brief Argues Books Settlement Continues Steal From Absent Class Members, Remains Anti-Competitive

WASHINGTON, DC — Consumer Watchdog today filed a brief urging a
federal court to reject the revised Google Books settlement because it
is remains anticompetitive and violates both U.S. and international
law.

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Consumers Have A Right To Online Anonymity

By THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

28. January 2010

The FTC’s job is make sure that consumers have control of what data
is gathered, how it is used and how long it’s kept. Consumers must
first be able to see what data Google and the other online companies
have accumulated, then delete it if they wish or prevent it from being
gathered in the first place. Control is the key. Google could long ago have offered everyone a
simple "make me anonymous" button. But it’s not likely that Google or
any other company will voluntarily give us that control, because it
endangers their advertising profits.

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Blog Post

Google toolbar privacy glitch shows need for tech recalls and rules

Posted by

27. January 2010

Harvard Professor Ben Edelman has just revealed that Google’s toolbar sent information about consumers’ web activity back to the Internet giant’s servers even when they thought they had disabled the toolbar.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Lauds Clinton’s Call For Open Internet, Stresses Need For Online Consumer Privacy Safeguards

CONTACT: cell 310 292-1902

21. January 2010

Consumer Watchdog Lauds Clinton’s Call For Open Internet, Stresses Need For Online Consumer Privacy Safeguards

WASHINGTON, DC —  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s condemnation of
cyber attacks and censorship is an important endorsement of a free
global Internet, but just as important to ensuring the Internet’s
contribution to democracy and economic growth is a commitment to
consumer privacy, Consumer Watchdog said today.

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Googling Obama’s China policy

By POLITICO.COM

15. January 2010

Google’s ties to the Obama administration are perhaps unrivaled in corporate America, but the Internet giant’s announcement this week that it’s considering pulling out of China because of Chinese censorship and hacker attacks put the White House in a tricky spot. "They like to go around and sing the mantra, ‘Don’t be evil,’" said
John Simpson, a consumer advocate with the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog.
"But they almost always act in what they perceive to be Google’s
interest – and that doesn’t necessarily coincide with that of any
government."

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Security Firm Outlines How Attack Against Google Was Pulled Off

By THE SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

15. January 2010

A Silicon Valley Internet security firm on Thursday described for the first time how hackers from China were able to crack Google’s defenses, saying the attackers took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft’s Web browser to probe deeply into the company’s network. In addition to the Google network, the high-profile intrusion also
targeted Gmail accounts in the United States and other countries. This
may prompt users to demand better security for electronic mail and
other personal data that’s stored on Internet clouds, some advocates
say. "The problem up until now is that people like Google have
emphasized speed and efficiency and ease of use," said John M. Simpson,
an advocate with Consumer Watchdog. "In too many cases, they have let
security and privacy become a secondary issue. This situation is a
wake-up call for everybody."

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Press Release

Google Finally Improves Security Of Gmail Connections As Consumer Watchdog Urged

CONTACT: 310-392-0522 x317 or cell 310-292-2901

13. January 2010

Santa Monica, CA —  In the wake of cyber attacks from China Google has
announced it will improve security for consumers connecting to its
Gmail service over the Internet by encrypting data traveling to its
servers, a move Consumer Watchdog called on the Internet giant to make
more than a year ago.

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Press Release

Chinese Attacks On Google Show Need For Internet Giant To Focus On Security, Privacy

CONTACT: 310-392-0522 x317 or cell 310-292-1902

13. January 2010

Santa Monica, CA — Google acted correctly in ending self-censorship of
its Chinese search engine, Google.cn, but the cyber attacks that
prompted the decision demonstrate the company must give American
consumers better security and privacy controls, Consumer Watchdog said
today.

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Google Does An About-Face On China Policy

By THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

13. January 2010

Google Does An About-Face On China Policy

San Francisco, CA — In a surprise announcement late Tuesday, Google Inc. said it may turn its back on the huge Chinese market after a sophisticated cyber attack on the e-mail accounts of human rights advocates in the Asian nation. Some have dubbed the country’s censorship efforts, which apply to Yahoo
Inc. and Microsoft Corp.’s search engines too, the "Great Firewall of
China." Users of Google.cn in China generally couldn’t look at images
of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, dig up information about Tibet’s
Dalai Lama or access the Web site for journalism watchdog organization
Reporters Without Borders, according to reports. "While Google
should never have agreed to censor search results in China in the first
place, it is doing the right thing by ending the practice now," said
John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog in Los Angeles. "The company should
be commended."

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