Google’s Economic Report Is Self-Serving Hype, Consumer Watchdog Says

Tue, May 25, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Google’s Economic Report Is Self-Serving Hype, Consumer Watchdog Says

    ‘Don’t-Be-Evil’ Company Following Classic Corporate Playbook To Deal With Critics

    SANTA MONICA, CA — Google, the self-proclaimed “don’t-be-evil” company, is following the classic corporate evil-doer’s playbook as it attempts to quell worldwide outrage over the WiSpy scandal, Consumer Watchdog said today.

    The Internet giant’s new report claiming that it generated $54 billion in economic activity last year in the United States, is an an example of classic corporate PR spin to divert justified criticism, Consumer Watchdog said.

    “This is what every big corporation does when they are under fire,” said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with the nonpartisan, nonprofit group. “They divert attention from their wrongdoing and spin a story about their contributions.”

    Consumer Watchdog said Google’s economic report relies on cooked accounting that only counts benefits while factoring in none of the very real costs Google places on society.

    “What’s the economic cost to the content providers whose material is grabbed without payment or the competitor whose listing is banished to the nether regions of results because of Google’s monopolistic control of search?” asked Simpson. “What’s the cost on society to maintain Google’s extensive network of energy-eating server farms?”

    Consumer Watchdog said a meaningful economic report would involve an honest accounting of Google’s net impact with all benefits minus all costs. The report was issued as investigations into WiSpy — in which Google Street View cars gathered communications from private WiFi networks in 30 countries — continued to mount.

    Meanwhile, in an effort to focus attention on Google’s activities and make the company more transparent, Consumer Watchdog has launched a new Website,, as part of the nonprofit, nonpartisan organization’s Google Privacy and Accountability Project. “We want to open up the black box,” said Simpson.

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    Consumer Watchdog, formerly the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, Ca.  Consumer Watchdog’s website is Visit our new Google Privacy and Accountability Project website:

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