About Inside Google
Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, launched Inside Google to educate the public and opinion leaders about Google’s dangerous dominance over the Internet, computing and our online lives. Inside Google’s blog is authored by experienced consumer advocates and journalists working to expose the “black box” at Google with an eye towards holding Google engineers accountable to social mores, ethical customs and the rule of law.
In the fall of 2008, with the support of the Rose Foundation, Consumer Watchdog embarked upon a privacy project to educate the public and opinion leaders about the need for greater online privacy, and to hold Google accountable for tracking consumers online without explicit permission and for exhibiting its monopolistic power in dangerous ways. The goal was to convince Google of the social and economic importance of giving consumers control over their on-line lives. By persuading Google, the Internet’s leading company, to adopt adequate guarantees, its policies could become the gold standard for privacy for the industry, potentially improving the performance of the entire online sector. As Google grew increasingly recalcitrant, and the company’s growth continued unchecked into an array of sectors, Consumer Watchdog expanded its investigation and advocacy, leading to the launch “Inside Google.”
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices.
His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering.
A frequent contributor to op-ed pages across the country , Simpson also oversees Consumer Watchdog’s project to implement the groundbreaking LA Rx program, working with the City of Los Angeles to make prescription medication more affordable to thousands of un- and underinsured Angelenos.
Simpson is a veteran journalist. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Prior to that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition.
Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.
Margot Williams has more than two decades of experience in roles as investigative researcher, research editor, database editor, technology trainer and library director at The New York Times, The Washington Post, Gannett newspapers and Time Warner. She was lead researcher on two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams at The Washington Post for reporting on terrorism in 2002 and for an investigation of the use of deadly force by the District of Columbia police in 1999. Margot is the co-author of “Great Scouts! CyberGuides for Subject Searching on the Web” (Cyberage Books, 1999) and contributed to the “Networkings” column in The Washington Post for five years.
Consumer Watchdog’s President is an award-winning and nationally recognized consumer advocate. His latest book, The Progressive’s Guide To Raising Hell: How To Win Grassroots Campaigns, Pass Ballot Box Laws And Get The Change You Voted For, is forthcoming from Chelsea Green in September. Court is co-author of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Health (Common Courage Press, 1999) — which Publisher’s Weekly says is “one of the most powerful indictments of the managed care industry.” (www.makingakilling.org)
Court helped to pioneer the HMO patients’ rights movement in the United States, sponsoring successful laws in California and aiding them elsewhere. He has also led major corporate campaigns to reform insurers, banks, oil companies, utilities and political practices. Court is a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s “Marketplace” program and on the Los Angeles Times op-ed page.
Glenn Simpson was an investigative reporter for The Wall Street Journal from 1995 to 2009 and is the recipient of several journalism awards. He covered American campaigns and Washington politics for more than two decades as well as the technology industry, digital privacy issues, antitrust, and the Federal Trade Commission. He is the co-author of Dirty Little Secrets: The Persistence of Corruption In American Politics. (Random House; 1996)