Author Archives | Elinor Mills

Consumer Group Files FTC Complaint Against Google

Wednesday, February 22, 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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Carrier IQ Faces Lawsuits, Lawmaker Seeks FTC Probe

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Consumer Watchdog activist group asked the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the “Spyphone Scandal.” “The probe should extend beyond the software developer, Carrier IQ, and include operating systems developers like Google and Apple as well as carriers and device manufacturers, the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group said.

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DOJ Not Pleased With Latest Google Book Agreement

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Although the amended settlement agreement for Google’s Book Search addressed some concerns the U.S. Justice Department had, it still could give the company anticompetitive advantages in the digital book marketplace, the agency said on Thursday. The nonprofit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog praised the Justice Department’s stance. "The settlement still abuses the class-action mechanism and purports to
enroll absent class members automatically into new business
‘opportunities,’ in violation of current copyright laws," Consumer
Watchdog reiterated from its friend-of-the-court brief opposing the
agreement as modified.

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Antitrust Concerns Linger In Google Books Deal

Monday, November 16, 2009

The revised Google Books settlement agreement may quiet international opponents, but it still gives Google a monopoly on commercializing out-of-print books where the copyrights are unclaimed and fails to protect consumer privacy, opponents said on Monday. Also troubling to critics is the fact that the revised settlement circumvents traditional copyright provisions by allowing Google to digitize orphan works without first getting rights holder permission, while any Google competitors are blocked from doing so barring legislation granting them licensing rights. “For the millions of volumes of orphan books that Google has already scanned in, they can offer those without risk of anyone coming forward and suing them for infringement,” said John Simpson, a consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog.

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