Author Archives | Erika Morphy

Erika Morphy - who has written 13 posts on Inside Google.


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FTC Turns Deaf Ear to Google’s ‘Ignorance’ Defense in Safari Snafu

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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Despite Google’s protestations of innocence, or at least ignorance, consumer advocate organizations including Consumer Watchdog decried Google’s behavior and filed suit with the FTC. Needless to say, they are delighted about the reports of an impending settlement. “This is a wanton violation on Google’s part,” John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, told the E-Commerce Times, brushing aside the company’s claims the tracking was accidental. “What made it even worse is that they lied to users about what they were doing,” he added. “Google told people they were honoring the Safari browser settings.”

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Law Enforcement Feasts on Cellphone Data

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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The application of constitutional protections in the digital world is far from clear, in many cases, but law enforcement agencies aren’t waiting for permission to access data — they’re bombarding providers with requests for information. “It is an outrageous intrusion on users’ privacy and potentially troublesome in terms of our eroding constitutional rights,” said Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson.

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European Regulators Put Google in the Hot Seat on Privacy Changes

Friday, May 25, 2012

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Stonewalling is Google’s M.O. when it comes to regulatory requests, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director, told the E-Commerce Times. “Google did it with the FCC over its inquiry into the StreetView project,” he said. “The FCC fined Google (US)$25,000 because it dragged its feet in responding.”

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Measure to Ease Video-Rental Privacy Curbs Catches Flack in Senate

Thursday, February 2, 2012

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The law would allow Netflix and other providers to share movie titles not only with social-media outlets such as Facebook, but also with third-party partners. Privacy advocates hate the proposal. “It is a horrible idea,” Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson told TechNewsWorld.

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Facebook’s IPO May Be the Last Straw for Privacy-Minded Users

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

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Even as a private company, Facebook had no problem pushing the envelope, Consumer Watchdog spokesperson Carmen Balber told the E-Commerce Times. “Facebook is already treading dangerous waters as far as privacy rights are concerned. The pressure to monetize consumers’ user data will be greater when there are shareholders to satisfy.”

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Privacy Advocates, Businesses Dig In for EU Lobbying Campaign

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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Facebook, et al., have descended on the city in the hope of softening some of the restrictions, while privacy advocates such as John M. Simpson, the Privacy Project director at Consumer Watchdog, are there to keep the EU on its intended path.

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Google Shells Out $500M to DoJ Over Shady Drug Ads

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

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Google has agreed to a US$500 million settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place ads through its AdWords program targeting consumers in the United States.

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Don’t Be Evil When You Sell, And Other Retail Resolutions

Friday, December 31, 2010

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In November advocacy groups Center for Digital Democracy, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog, and the World Privacy Forum filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission over “unfair and deceptive” advertising and data gathering practices at online health information and service sites.

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Apple Lets Mobile Trackers Have a Field Day, Alleges Consumer Lawsuit

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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“It is clear that we need some kind of ‘do not track’ legislation for smartphones as well as online,” John M. Simpson, a consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog, told MacNewsWorld. This transmission of information was described as common in the Journal article, he noted — and consumers have no recourse.

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Friday, September 3, 2010

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Rabid Consumer Watchdog Attacks Google CEO

Consumer Watchdog has created quite a stir with its Times Square jumbotron attack ad depicting Google CEO Eric Schmidt as a child predator. The so-called lampoon is designed to provoke outrage against Google’s perceived privacy intrusions, but some viewers may find the privacy group’s tactics even more outrageous. Consumer Watchdog’s Simpson shrugged off such criticism. “Sometimes, as an advocate, you want to focus attention on an issue — and if someone calls you crazy, then you put on your thick skin and smile, because that means they are focusing on the issue,” he said. “As long as people are talking about the issue seriously, we are happy.”

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Press ReleaseBlog Post

FTC May Put Kibosh On Google’s AdMob Deal

Thursday, March 11, 2010

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FTC May Put Kibosh On Google’s AdMob Deal

Despite the fact that the mobile advertising market is still young and fragmented, U.S. regulators apparently are concerned that Google’s proposed acquisition of AdMob could give it an unfair competitive advantage. Google got an inkling that the FTC might want to give the deal a second look shortly after it was announced. At the end of December, the company received a "second request" for
additional information from the agency, Paul Feng, group product
manager, wrote in Google’s Public Policy blog. Shortly thereafter, two consumer groups — Consumer Watchdog and the
Center for Digital Democracy — asked the Federal Trade Commission to block the deal, arguing that it would lessen competition and harm consumers, advertisers and application developers, among others.

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Press ReleaseBlog PostNews Clipping

Consumer Groups Sound Alarm Over Google’s AdMob Buy

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

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Consumer Groups Sound Alarm Over Google’s AdMob Buy

Google’s plan to acquire mobile ad network AdMob in a US$750 million deal announced last month is under fire from two consumer groups, Consumer Watchdog and the Center for Digital Democracy. The two have asked the Federal Trade Commission
to block the deal, arguing that it would substantially lessen
competition in the mobile advertising market, harming consumers,
advertisers and application developers, among others.

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News Clipping

Google Lobbyist Unfit for Deputy CTO Job, Say Critics

Thursday, June 4, 2009

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President Obama reportedly is poised to name Andrew McLaughlin,
a former Google executive, as U.S. deputy CTO. The choice rankles the
heads of two advocacy groups, who maintain that McLaughlin’s work as a
lobbyist on behalf of Google makes him unsuitable for the government
policy development role.

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