Reding: Google Privacy Policy Is Illegal

California-based Google critic Consumer Watchdog called Google’s sweeping changes a “spy policy” rather than a privacy policy, an allusion to the fact that the move will help Google funnel data on users in one larger silo for targeted ads.

Google Centers Privacy Policies Around Google+

This privacy practice changes will likely also provoke protests from the Electronic Information Privacy Center, which is currently opposing Search, plus your world, as well as the Consumer Watchdog agency.

Google Overtakes Microsoft in Federal Lobbying Spending

Consumer Watchdog is one such organization that took umbrage to Google’s lobbying spend, which is up 88 percent from 2010. The consumer advocate said Google has abandoned its “Don’t Be Evil” roots by buying into “Washington’s corrupt “cash and carry” political system.

Google Denies Connecticut AG Street View Data

That answer isn’t satisfactory for privacy pundits such as Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson. “Google’s refusal to give data gathered by its Street View cars from private WiFi networks to Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal underscores the need for a Congressional hearing,” Simpson said. “What is Google hiding?

Google Faces EU Antitrust Investigation Over Search

Google watchdogs for the Consumer Watchdog praised the Commission’s move but lamented the lack of such scrutiny of the search engine in the U.S. “It’s long been clear that Google unfairly uses its dominance in search to benefit its own services,” said John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Inside Google project. “I’m pleased with the European announcement, but this is a U.S. company and it is past time for our authorities to act decisively.”

Google Users Concerned About WiSpy But Still Prefer Google

Web consumers are concerned about Google’s collection of data over wireless networks, but still give the search engine and Web services provider a favorable rating of 74 percent. That’s the latest from a poll conducted by Google watchers Consumer Watchdog and Grove Insight, which also found citizens are concerned about their privacy.

Google Removes WiFi Gear from Street View Cars

Meanwhile, Consumer Watchdog said July 8 that Google’s WiSpy snooping could have sucked up and recorded communications from members of Congress. The consumer advocacy group said Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee, has at least one wireless network in her Washington, D.C., home that could have been breached by Google.

Watchdog Wants Google’s Head as Google’s Lobbying Spend Jumps 57%

Consumer groups and privacy watchdogs suspicious of Google Creep — its growing size and extension on the Web — are looking at Google’s moves in Washington, D.C., with the flinty enthusiasm of fire and brimstone preachers.

Ex-Googler Falls Prey to Wonderful Privacy Flaw of Google Buzz

This is a fun story. Andrew McLaughlin, formerly Google’s top lobbyist and currently the deputy CTO in the White House, where he advises President Barack Obama on Internet policy, apparently was aghast to find his contacts exposed by Google Buzz. Buzz is the social Web services that leverage Gmail users’ contacts. By default, Buzz was […]

Google Dashboard Provides Too Much Info And Yet Not Enough

Indeed, privacy advocates, such as John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, argued Google’s gesture with Dashboard was just a straw man and that if the company really wanted to help it would allow users to prevent search information from being logged or to prevent Google from tracking a user’s online activity while surfing the Web.

Google Beats Microsoft in the E-Mail Battle of Los Angeles

Google won the battle with Microsoft for the right to move Los Angeles’ 30,000 municipal employees to its e-mail system, knocking out Novell’s GroupWise platform for the $7.25 million contract. However, the contract comes with a caveat. Google must compensate the
city if its e-mail service is breached and data is stolen. The Los
Angeles Council voted to add the penalty provision 9-3. Consumer
advocates applauded this motion. "Los Angeles residents cannot be sure the city’s confidential or
sensitive data will be secure," said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate
with Consumer Watchdog, "but at least they know there will be a penalty
if security is compromised. It’s essential that this project be closely
watched to ensure that Google keeps its promises."

Authors, Publishers Ask Judge to Postpone Google Book Search Hearing

The Author’s Guild and Association of American Publishers in the Google Book Search settlement asked District Court Judge Denny Chin to postpone his fairness hearing on the deal so they can work with Google and the Department of Justice on amending the agreement. Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog further suggested that
important issues affecting copyright law should not be negotiated
behind closed doors.

DOJ Asks Court to Reject Google Book Search, Pending Changes

The Department of Justice said the Google Book Search settlement would violate class action, copyright and antitrust law and said it should not be approved without changes. Consumer advocates were joyous about the DOJ’s finding: "This is a victory for consumers and the broad public
interest," said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate with Consumer
Watchdog. "Consumer Watchdog supports digitization and digital
libraries in a robust competitive market open to all organizations,
both for-profit and non-profit, that offer fundamental privacy
guarantees to users. But a single entity cannot be allowed to build a
digital library based on a monopolistic advantage when its answer to
serious questions from responsible critics boils down to: ‘Trust us.
Our motto is "Don’t be evil."’"