Archive | February, 2012

Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Calls California ‘Apps’ Privacy Agreement A Step Forward, But Says Do Not Track Legislation Is Necessary To Protect Consumers

CONTACT: , 310-392-7041

22. February 2012

Consumer Watchdog Calls California ‘Apps’ Privacy Agreement A Step Forward, But Says Do Not Track Legislation Is Necessary To Protect Consumers

SANTA MONICA, CA – California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ agreement announced today committing the leading operators of mobile application platforms to require privacy policies for applications (“apps”) is a step forward, Consumer Watchdog said, but in addition “Do Not Track” regulations must be implemented to fully protect consumers.

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Consumer Group Files FTC Complaint Against Google

By , CNET.COM

22. February 2012

The complaint — similar to complaints brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the World Privacy Forum and Consumer Watchdog — alleges that Google is misleading users about the “real reasons” for the privacy policy change, which are due to take effect March 1. In addition, the planned policy changes violate the FTC-Google consent decree by failing to get user consent before sharing information.

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Press Release

Consumer Watchdog Praises State Attorneys General Action Against Google

CONTACT: , 310-392-7041

22. February 2012

Consumer Watchdog Praises State Attorneys General Action Against Google

SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog today praised state attorneys general for voicing their concerns about Google’s changes in privacy polices and asking for a meeting with the Internet giant’s CEO Larry Page. Attorneys general from 35 other states and territories joined Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler in sending the letter. They gave Google a week to reply.

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White House Pushes for New Privacy Codes of Conduct

By , PCWORLD.COM

22. February 2012

Privacy group Consumer Watchdog praised the White House privacy announcement, although the group had not seen the proposals as of Wednesday evening. “From what I understand to be in it, the report may represent real progress,” said John Simpson, privacy project director for the group. “Enforceable codes of conduct could matter. Baseline privacy legislation could make a difference.”

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Google Bypassed Apple Privacy Settings: Researcher

By , AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

18. February 2012

“Google has clearly engaged in ‘unfair and deceptive’ practices,” said Consumer Watchdog privacy project director John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “They have been lying about how people can protect their privacy in their instructions about how to opt out of receiving targeted advertising.”

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Privacy Brouhaha Reveals Google’s Split Personality

By , CNET.COM

18. February 2012

An FTC spokesman said the agency had received the Consumer Watchdog complaint but said he could not comment further. “We are taking immediate steps to address concerns and we are happy to answer any questions regulators and others may have,” Google said in a statement when asked to comment.

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How Google Gets Inside Browsers

By , THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

18. February 2012

The group Consumer Watchdog and some lawmakers asked publicly whether Google had violated last year’s settlement agreement with the Federal Trade Commission over an unrelated privacy breach. Some tech watchers said that while the company’s actions are certainly questionable, the full extent of the breach probably exceeded what Google had intended to do, as Google itself maintains.

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Lawmakers Target Google’s Tracking

By , THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

18. February 2012

“Google falsely told Safari users that they could control the collection of data…when in fact Google was circumventing the preference,” wrote John Simpson, the privacy-project director with the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Another advocacy group, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, also made similar charges.

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Google, Safari And The Wild Web At War

By , GOOD MORNING SILICON VALLEY BLOG (San Jose Mercury News)

17. February 2012

The day after a Wall Street Journal report that Google and other ad networks bypassed settings on Apple‘s Safari Web browser — which doesn’t allow certain third-party cookies — reactions are mixed. While some tech bloggers are saying, basically, that the WSJ report is blowing this thing out of proportion, one persistent Google critic, the Consumer Watchdog advocacy group, has reportedly already asked the FTC to investigate. And Microsoft, which is no friend of Google’s, has also weighed in and blasted its competitor. There’s no getting around it: This looks bad for Google, which lately seems to be putting out one PR fire after another.

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Google Caught With Hand In Safari’s Cookie Jar

By , TECHNEWSWORLD.COM

17. February 2012

Google is among a handful of companies that used a certain unusual characteristic of Apple’s Safari Web browser to insert tracking cookies on users’ machines, according to recent research from a Stanford grad student. The news has outraged consumer advocacy groups, though Google claims it was using known Safari functionality to provide features that signed in Google users had enabled.

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Google Violated IPhone Users’ Privacy, Stanford Study Finds

By , BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

17. February 2012

Google’s actions also prompted Consumer Watchdog to send a letter to the FTC and demand action against Google. “Safari users with the browser set to block third-party cookies thought they were not being tracked,” John Simpson, privacy project director of Consumer Watchdog, said in the letter. “Nonetheless, because of an element invisible to the user, but designed to mimic a form, DoubleClick was able to set tracking cookies in an obvious violation of the set preference.”

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Google Caught Tracking Apple Users

By , THEHILL.COM - HILLICON VALLEY BLOG

17. February 2012

Consumer Watchdog, a frequent Google critic, accused the company of lying and urged the Federal Trade Commission to take “immediate action” to crack down on the “unfair and deceptive trade practices.”

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Google’s Cookie Trick in Safari Stirs Debate

By , THE NEW YORK TIMES BITS BLOG

17. February 2012

The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether Google violated a previous agreement with the agency, which required Google to be up front about privacy matters. It says Google manipulated Safari users into believing they could permanently opt out of targeted advertising, when in reality they couldn’t.

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