Consumer Watchdog Challenges New Google Chief To Support Do-Not-Track

Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 10:20 am

    The privacy group Consumer Watchdog is challenging Google to improve its privacy standards as the company undergoes a regime change in its top office.

    On Larry Page’s first day as chief executive, the watchdog asked him to support a Do-Not-Track regime for Internet privacy outlined in a California state bill.

    The watchdog group also dug into former chief executive Eric Schmidt, who is staying on at the company in a different role.

    The group mocked him in a series of cartoon videos that depicted him a creepy predator, airing some of them in Times Square.

    “Eric Schmidt’s tenure as CEO was marked by a series of privacy gaffes. We hope yours will begin with a landmark endorsement of a new privacy right for consumers online that shows freedom of information and personal privacy are not incompatible,” Consumer Watchdog leaders Jamie Court and John Simpson wrote.

    The centerpiece of the California legislation is a Do-Not-Track mechanism that would allow consumers to opt against tracking by ad companies as they surf the Web. It mirrors a bill by Rep. Jackie Speiers (D-Calif.).

    Consumer Watchdog supports both bills. It says the state bill is offered in part to prevent a delay on strong privacy rules.

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