Archive | October, 2010

Consumer Watchdog Tells Google To Prove New Privacy Commitment — Changing Wi-Spy Story Makes It Difficult To Believe Measures Are Serious

22. October 2010

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Consumer Watchdog Tells Google To Prove New Privacy Commitment — Changing Wi-Spy Story Makes It Difficult To Believe Measures Are Serious

SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog welcomed three new steps Google said it is implementing to protect consumers’ privacy in response to the Wi-Spying scandal, but challenged the Internet giant to prove the measures are more than a public relations ploy.

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Google’s PAC joins Republican bandwagon

22. October 2010

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Google’s PAC joins Republican bandwagon

In a move that’s either deeply pragmatic or deeply cynical, Silicon Valley’s most openly pro-Democratic company shifted course this fall and gave more than half its political action committee donations to Republicans. Google Inc. NetPAC gave Republicans $57,500 between July and October, the group’s filing this week with the Federal Election Committee shows. That’s 55% of the $105,000 total contributions; Democrats received $47,500 or 45%.

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Google Spends More Lobbying Congress

21. October 2010

For the first nine months of 2010, Google spent $3.92 million, approaching the $4.03 million the search giant spent wooing federal officials in all of 2009, Senate disclosure records show. “Google has a group of well-connected lobbyists and is willing to spend freely to influence federal lawmakers and regulators,” says John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Inside Google Project. “They appear to be on track to spend a total of $5 million to peddle influence this year.”

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Google cuts billions from its taxes through complex overseas tax dodges

21. October 2010

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Google cuts billions from its taxes through complex overseas tax dodges

Google Inc. has dodged $3.1 billion in taxes in the last three years, reports Jesse Drucker of Bloomberg, giving new meaning to CEO Eric Schmidt’s recent comment to analysts: “We love cash.” The question now is how much longer Goolge can continue to draw on its positive image as the “Don’t-Be-Evil” company.

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Google increases spending on lobbying to $1.2 million

21. October 2010

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Google increases spending on lobbying to $1.2 million

SANTA MONICA, CA — Google increased its spending on lobbying 11 percent over the previous year to $1.2 million in the third quarter demonstrating the Internet giant’s willingness to spend to shape federal policy, Consumer Watchdog said today. In the comparable quarter a year ago Google spent $1.08 million. A key to Google’s lobbying effort is its well-connected Washington staff, the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group said.

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Google’s Wi-Spying broke Canadian law

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19. October 2010

Google’s Wi-Spying broke Canadian law

Google violated Canadian privacy laws when its Street View cars gathered data from private wireless networks, Canada’s privacy commissioner said on Tuesday. More important, the investigation found a company with a lackadaisical commitment to privacy among its engineers. Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart said the private data was gathered because of a ” a careless error – one that could easily have been avoided.”

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Canadian Wi-Spy decision shows need for Congressional hearings

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19. October 2010

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Canadian Wi-Spy decision shows need for Congressional hearings

SANTA MONICA, CA — The Canadian Privacy Commissioner’s announcement today that Google’s Wi-Spying with its Street View cars broke the law demonstrates the need for U.S. Congressional hearings into the scandal, Consumer Watchdog said. According to Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart: “Our investigation shows that Google did capture personal information – and, in some cases, highly sensitive personal information such as complete e-mails. This incident was a serious violation of Canadians’ privacy rights.

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Google ‘definitions’ offer interesting insight into Internet giant

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15. October 2010

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Google ‘definitions’ offer interesting insight into Internet giant

Struggling to find the definition for a word? Simply type “define: XXXX”, where XXXX is the word you’re asking about, into Google’s search box. Over at the New Yorker in an article called “Don’t Be Evil,” Simon Rich notes Google’s ability to serve up definitions. Then he has a little fun.

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FTC chair raises “Do Not Track Me” idea; Congressional support grows

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8. October 2010

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FTC chair raises “Do Not Track Me” idea; Congressional support grows

Support for Do Not Track Me legislation is growing in Washington with the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission telling ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday that “one of the things we are thinking about is a Do Not Track List.”

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