“Putting a data center on Street View is a gimmick,” Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson told TechNewsWorld. “It doesn’t reveal anything meaningful about how Google does business. Google says it wants to organize the world’s information and make it more accessible but, when it comes to its own information and procedures, the company remains a black box.”
“It is clear that we do need better protection of vulnerable networks,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld. “Congress was unable to act, so I suppose the Administration is taking steps.” He cautioned, however, that he had not seen a copy of the draft order.
Online advertisers and privacy advocates generally agree that Do Not Track options should be available on Web browsers. However, there’s much debate about whether DNT should be opt-in or opt-out. “The privacy-friendly thing is to have DNT on by default,” said Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson. But advertisers say turning on DNT by default would essentially deprive consumers of choice.
“Whenever Google raises the cry of defending Internet freedom, it’s always really about what’s best for Google’s business model,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld.
“However Google configures this, it’s clear that it’s all about competing with Facebook and keeping users logged into Google’s services,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld. “Google is terrified of Facebook’s gains and is doing everything possible to fight them.”
A coalition of 11 consumer advocacy agencies and civil liberty and privacy organizations has responded by releasing a set of principles for the multi-stakeholder process. This “would ensure a fair process,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at coalition member Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld.
Google is among a handful of companies that used a certain unusual characteristic of Apple’s Safari Web browser to insert tracking cookies on users’ machines, according to recent research from a Stanford grad student. The news has outraged consumer advocacy groups, though Google claims it was using known Safari functionality to provide features that signed in Google users had enabled.
“We welcome and support EPIC’s suit,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, told the E-Commerce Times. “We called on the FTC to determine whether Google’s arrogant, unilateral action violated the Buzz consent agreement,” Simpson continued. “I think it’s clear that it does.”
The announcement of the changes sparked concern among privacy watchdogs both in the United States and the European Union. “Consumers’ online privacy is being eroded,” growled John Simpson, a consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog.
“If they’re gathering every individual’s keystrokes, that’s a tremendous invasion of privacy, John Simpson, director of the privacy project at Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld.
Equipping home appliances with always-on Internet connectivity “would come with considerable intrusions into people’s privacy,” John M. Simpson, director, Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project, told TechNewsWorld.
The City of Los Angeles’ transition to Google Apps for its 30,000 employees apparently hasn’t been going smoothly, according to letters obtained by the group Consumer Watchdog. It seems Google and contractor CSC haven’t been able to fulfill the LAPD’s security requirements, and now the city is asking for some of its money back.