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We have taken the “Do Not Track Me” fight to Times Square! | Inside Google
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We have taken the “Do Not Track Me” fight to Times Square!

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Thu, Sep 2, 2010 at 4:07 pm

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We have taken the “Do Not Track Me” fight to Times Square!

Right now, running twice an hour in Times Square, there’s a 540 sq. ft. animation of Google CEO Eric Schmidt giving little kids free ice cream and secretly gathering their personal information.

We put up the ad to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights.

Schmidt is out of control. When questioned about privacy, he has said, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” Recently, he suggested children could change their names when they got older if they wanted to escape what was embarrassing and public in their online lives.

We think there should be another way to protect the public’s online privacy: a ”Do Not Track Me” list that prevents Google or any other Internet company from tracking your every move online.

Google’s motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” but recent actions reveal that the Internet giant has lost its way: it has collected hoards of personal data from Wi-Fi networks through its Street View cars; it has made private Gmail contacts publicly available on Buzz; it has done a complete about-face on net-neutrality, joining with Verizon in calling for toll lanes on the Internet.

Google poses a serious threat to our privacy, and our animation is meant to put a spotlight on the need for Congress to enact a national ”Do Not Track Me” list.

Drastic times call for drastic measures. In the past Consumer Watchdog focused national attention on the need for patients’ rights by dumping truckloads of beans on HMO bean counters. We published the partial social security numbers of elected officials to make the case for greater financial privacy. Now, we have satirized Eric Schmidt in the most highly-trafficked public square in the nation to draw attention to Google’s lack of regard for our online privacy.

When other companies and industries have shown such lack of proportion and perspective, we have made them pay through extraordinary tactics. We apply this principle now to Google to highlight the need for immediate change.

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This post was written by:

Jamie Court

- who has written 26 posts on Inside Google.

Jamie Court is the author of The Progressive's Guide to Raising Hell and the President of Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact the author

28 Responses to “We have taken the “Do Not Track Me” fight to Times Square!”

  1. Zeth Says:

    Whoa! I didn’t know Google was that evil! Thank you very much for this information. Yes, I will sign the petition!

  2. Persia Woolley Says:

    I would really like to sign your petition but won’t put my name to things I haven’t read. I couldn’t find the text of the petition on this page, and STRONGLY suggest you add it for people like me.

    Otherwise I commend what you are doing, and really appreciate the tool box page with information about different programs for protecting myself. It was very simple and direct, easy to get to and to understand. Thanks for that, and keep up the good work.

  3. Jon Says:

    “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

    This quote was in reference to the “patriot act” which applies to all US companies and not just Google, if your real intent is to truly protect privacy and not just make Google look bad, maybe you should press lawmakers on that issue as well.

  4. Jonny Simpson Says:

    It looks more like John Simpson than Schmidt !!!

  5. wekayem Says:

    What is your proposed “identifying” parameter for such a list?

  6. Wow Says:

    Dear uninformed,
    Do not listen to this drivel. Google provides more tools to protect your privacy than any other company that I know of. READ AND BE INFORMED YOURSELF.
    http://www.google.com/intl/en/privacy_tools.html
    These guys are either mis-informed or fear mongering frauds

  7. Mr. Fluffy Pants Says:

    consumerwatchdog.org using google analytics.

    Check.

    Streaming ‘google is evil’ from youtube, a google owned entity.

    Check.

    “OK, we’re ready to kick this campaign off!”

  8. franz kafka Says:

    Are you guys financed by Apple or Microsoft?

  9. Dylan Taylor Says:

    Your video about Google and privacy contains serious misinformation… Google respects your privacy, and the Wifi thing was an honest mistake… as a software developer myself, I can see how they could accidentally reuse some old code to save the effort of rewriting it, but forget to remove the payload gathering functionality. Did I mention that all data gathered by their WiFi payload software was already public to anyone with a wireless card anyways? It’s not as big of a deal as this advertisement makes it look like.

  10. johnny Says:

    Google respects no one’s privacy. Google, Yahoo, Facebook and other major companies have been tracking our activities both online and offline and stealing our ideas for profit. I have evidence to prove this is happening.

    They are all evil…

  11. charlie Says:

    I would love to sign any pro-privacy statement I could find… problem is.. I CAN’T FIND IT!

    Where exactly is your petition and what does it say exactly?

    Until I get those two profoundly and blatantly obviously important things (and assuming I agree with them) I would love to sign up!

    BUT NOT WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT I AM SIGNING UP FOR

    If you have the cash flow for advertisements on time square signange you certainly have the resources to define your terms, problems, arguments and solutions in writing.

    Get it done already… An entertaining cartoon is not sufficient.

  12. JuanGuapo Says:

    I don’t trust Google.

  13. OA Says:

    Google is the best thing that happened to the internet, because it showed other companies that they can make money without charging people. It is one of the reasons that the internet is at where it is today. And if google is evil, then so is microsoft, which was keen to copy google and release a similar search engine, bing, and so is yahoo, which highlights half the words on your email to turn them into quickview advertisements. so if we’re not willing to give up a bit of privacy, then we shouldnt use the internet at all, because it is one big invasion of privacy.

  14. MYOB Says:

    I despair for our species!
    “Do not track me” list? How? Seriously. Any one of you given it any thought? How to actually get such a list to work? You are dangerously uninformed!
    And to think how undiluted my respect for Consumer Watchdog used to be, aah those were the days. In one fell swoop you’ve proven yourself capable of idiocy, gross misrepresentation, flat out lies and creepy ‘ideologically’(?) driven misinformation campaigns.
    Tea-party inspired, are you?

    Shame on you.

  15. CW - Cheerleader Says:

    I didn’t have any respect for Consumer Watchdog until they targeted this issue. Right now they are really targeting who they should’ve a long time ago, the devil’s head and tail. CW, if you need donations to can Google, just let us know. Our team supports everything you are doing for our privacy on the net. Enough said.

    Bob

  16. Elijah Lynn Says:

    I agree with Dylan Taylor and Jon #2.

    Eric Schmidt should be commended for saying what he said, it is the truth and it isn’t his law, it is the law that our government enacted because of 9/11. Maybe repealing the patriot act should be a higher priority on ConsumerWatchdog.org’s list of things to do.

  17. Johny Says:

    Hi there,
    I am always very much concerned about the privacy in Google. Google has got data of whole world. Its products like webmaster account are so good that people are, in other way, sharing their complete data with them. And now the new feature, web history so they can see what we are surfing. Google is beast and if you people will not do these thing it will be a privacy hacked giant.
    Shame on you Google.

  18. FanBoyNot Says:

    Google’s Street View camera car wasn’t enough. Now the company has purchased camera-equipped flying drones —

    http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2010/08/09/google-buys-flying-drones/

    Lotta of astro-turf fan-boy comments here, eh?

    For better privacy use Scroogle’s search instead of Google.

  19. Ramon Says:

    Seriously – that’s how they make money. They want to know more about us to advertise to us. I’d rather use their free services and let them collect my habits than not using the services.

    Is the problem the fact that Google collects it, or that people don’t read EULAs and don’t know that Google collects this info?

  20. holy cr@p Says:

    wow, complete moronic bull. are you looking for 15 minutes of fame on fox news or a book deal? this site reeks of Michael Moore half truths and unresearched facts. Plus Jamie looks like a fatter kelsey grammer.

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