Author Archives | Carmen Balber

Consumer Watchdog Applauds FTC, EU Investigations of Google’s Violation of Apple Users’ Privacy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Consumer Watchdog Applauds FTC, EU Investigations of Google’s Violation of Apple Users’ Privacy

Says FTC Action Needed to Stop Google Engineers Playing ‘Fast and Loose’ With Consumers’ Private Information

Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog welcomed reports today confirming that the Federal Trade Commission and European regulators are investigating Google for violating the online privacy choices of consumers using the Safari web browser on Apple computers, iPhones and iPads. In a letter last month, Consumer Watchdog said that Google was lying to consumers and called on the FTC to act.

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Consumer Watchdog Says Google’s Lobbying Expenses Show Firm Has Adopted ‘Cash and Carry’ Approach to Politics; Spending Soars 87 Percent

Monday, January 23, 2012

Consumer Watchdog Says Google’s Lobbying Expenses Show Firm Has Adopted ‘Cash and Carry’ Approach to Politics; Spending Soars 87 Percent

WASHINGTON, DC – Internet giant Google spent nearly $10 million lobbying federal policymakers in 2012, showing that the company has abandoned its idealistic “Don’t Be Evil” roots and has bought into Washington’s corrupt “cash and carry” political system, Consumer Watchdog said today.

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Consumer Watchdog Asks Senate Panel To Explore Breakup of Google; Asks FTC to Open Inquiry Into Deceptive Mortgage Advertisements

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

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Consumer Watchdog Asks Senate Panel To Explore Breakup of Google; Asks FTC to Open Inquiry Into Deceptive Mortgage Advertisements

WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Watchdog today told a Senate committee that Google’s reach is so pervasive on the Internet that consumers cannot avoid its massive data collection apparatus. The public interest group said one possible remedy is breaking up the Internet giant, which exercises monopoly power over search and consumer data. Do Not Track regulations are necessary to protect consumers from the Internet giant’s pervasive data collection.

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Consumer Watchdog’s New Animated Video Satirizes Google Executives And Challenges Google’s Information Monopoly On Eve of Schmidt’s Senate Testimony

Monday, September 19, 2011

Consumer Watchdog’s New Animated Video Satirizes Google Executives And Challenges Google’s Information Monopoly On Eve of Schmidt’s Senate Testimony

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Consumer Watchdog’s latest online animated video debuted today, satirizing Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to dramatize Google’s information monopoly and make the case for Do Not Track Legislation. The video, “Supercharge,” exposes actual quotes by the executives and shows the two Google executives stalking a United States Senator through the signal in his Android mobile phone.

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Consumer Watchdog Says Online Ad Industry Self-Regulation Fails to Protect Privacy; Calls for Congress to Enact Do Not Track Me Law

Monday, August 29, 2011

Consumer Watchdog Says Online Ad Industry Self-Regulation Fails to Protect Privacy; Calls for Congress to Enact Do Not Track Me Law

WASHINGTON, DC — Consumer Watchdog said that the self-regulatory privacy program created by online advertisers and scheduled to take effect for some today fails to protect consumers from companies that track their behavior online. Legislation enacting a “Do Not Track Me” option is necessary to ensure consumers have an easy to use, effective and universal choice to avoid tracking, said Consumer Watchdog.

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Google got away with Wi-Spy, why can’t I?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Google got away with Wi-Spy, why can’t I?

The Senate Commerce committee has called Google and other technology execs to testify tomorrow on mobile privacy. What Google was collecting with its street view cars has every relevance to what they’re doing now, and I hope Senators finally grill them on the topic under oath. (More questions Google should have to answer here.)

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Landmark “Do Not Track Me” Bill To Block Unwanted Spying on the Internet, Says Consumer Watchdog

Friday, February 11, 2011

Landmark “Do Not Track Me” Bill To Block Unwanted Spying on the Internet, Says Consumer Watchdog

WASHINGTON, DC — “Do Not Track Me” legislation introduced in Congress today by Rep. Jackie Speier, D-CA, will let consumers block unwanted tracking of their information online, said the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog at a press conference today with the bill author and consumer and privacy advocates.

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Neither Sleet Nor Snow Stops Video Van

Friday, January 28, 2011

Neither Sleet Nor Snow Stops Video Van

Despite a six-hour commute home on what should have been a 20 minute drive after Wednesday’s snowstorm, our mobile ad truck braved the streets again in this morning’s flurries so “Mr. Schmidt Goes to Washington” could crash a “World Privacy Day” event at Google’s lobby shop in DC.

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Will Congress let consumers say no to online tracking?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Will Congress let consumers say no to online tracking?

A House subcommittee held its last hearing of the 111th Congress yesterday to talk about whether legislation creating a “Do Not Track Me” mechanism is needed to protect consumers’ privacy on the internet.

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Promise of ad industry self-regulation falls flat

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Promise of ad industry self-regulation falls flat

I was at Google’s DC headquarters yesterday afternoon for the first event of AdWeek 2010 – the advertising industry’s annual conference in DC. I don’t know if one company always dominates the event, but this year seems to be an all-Google affair. As the only advertiser that’s a “platinum sponsor,” Google hosted, sat on, or was the topic of five panels — more indication that Google is king in the online ad world.

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Google Builds Street Cred w/Chef Jose Andres

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Google Builds Street Cred w/Chef Jose Andres

I ventured into the DC Googleplex last night for one of the company’s “Google D.C. Talks” and no one challenged me at the door. It looks like Consumer Watchdog isn’t on a no-entry list after our latest investigation into Google’s Wi-Spy wiretapping activities. No one was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement to get in either, as they usually ask visitors to do.

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DC Dispatch: The week in review

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Things got busy fast this week in DC as Congress returned from the month-long summer break.



Finance committee chair Sen. Max Baucus released his long-awaited health reform proposal on Tuesday after months of closed-door meetings…

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Secret Google Presentation Defends Invasive Behavioral Ads

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Consumer Watchdog Releases Satirical Annotated Version, Says Cyber-Spying Should Raise Lawmaker Alarms Over Internet Giant’s New ‘Net-based Operating System

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