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Calif. Gives Driverless Cars Go-Ahead

By , SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

26. September 2012

Another lingering concern about driverless cars is privacy. The machines will have to collect and store certain information about a person’s movements as part of their basic functioning, as well as to improve their performance over time. Because of pressure from privacy advocates, the law requires manufacturers to provide written disclosures describing the data collected. But John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project, says that doesn’t go far enough.

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Jerry Brown Signs Driverless Car Bill

By , CAPITOL ALERT - SACRAMENTO BEE

25. September 2012

Opponents of the bill included the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Consumer Watchdog. Automakers have raised liability concerns, while Consumer Watchdog argued Google’s driverless cars should not be allowed on California roads until privacy protections are in place.

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Proposed Google Settlement is Inadequate: Consumer Watchdog

By , TECHZONE360.COM

25. September 2012

Consumer Watchdog has criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5-million fine that Google might pay in connection with privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser.

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Advocacy Group Urges Court To Reject Google’s ‘Miniscule’ $22.5M Privacy Settlement

By , ONLINE MEDIA DAILY

24. September 2012

A deal that calls for Google to pay a $22.5 million civil penalty for tracking Safari users should be rejected, Consumer Watchdog argues in new court papers. “The proposed settlement is markedly unusual and deficient,” the organization says in papers filed on Friday with U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco.

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White House May Try Cybersecurity End Run

By , TECH NEWS WORLD

21. September 2012

“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.

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Microsoft Launches Google-Is-Evil Campaign Targeted At Safari Users

By , COMPUTERWORLD.COM

21. September 2012

Google never admitted it violated any FTC regulations, although it did agree to pay the fine. The group ConsumerWatchdog.org criticized the settlement because it felt the fine wasn’t large enough, and because Google never had to admit it did anything wrong. John Simpson, director of the privacy project at ConsumerWatchdog.org said, “This is letting Google buy its way out of trouble.”

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Group Asks Senator To Oppose Google, Amazon gTLD Purchases

By , NETWORK WORLD - IDG NEWS SERVICE

20. September 2012

The large number of applications from the two companies would make the Internet ‘privatized,’ Consumer Watchdog says

A consumer group, citing concerns about the creation of a new, private Internet, has asked a senior U.S. senator to help block Google and Amazon.com from buying dozens of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

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Google Finally Opts For A ‘Do Not Track’ Option

By , DIRECT MARKETING NEWS.COM

18. September 2012

“It hasn’t been clear yet exactly what it means,” says Consumer Watchdog consumer advocate John Simpson. “The advertising industry, I think, would have it mean that they’re not going to target you with behavioral-based advertising. Many of us who are concerned about privacy understand that if you send a Do Not Track message, then your data should not be collected [at all].”

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Privacy Concerns Raised Over California “Robot Car” Legislation

By , FOXNEWS.COM

14. September 2012

A consumer advocacy organization warns that the cars could do more than that, collecting personal information that could be shared with others, and is asking for a gubernatorial veto of the bill approving them, which was passed by the state legislature in August. “The California autonomous car legislation does not provide adequate privacy protection,” says Consumer Watchdog spokesperson John Simpson. “Data should be gathered and retained only as long as necessary to operate the vehicle. The consumer must opt in if it is used for any other purpose.”

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Consumer Watchdog Chases Google’s Autonomous Car

By , THECARCONNECTION.COM

11. September 2012

Autonomous cars are a hot topic of conversation nowadays. Fans of the status quo see them as a waste of time. Driving enthusiasts see them as the harbinger of a boring, 55 mph future. And politicians see them as high-tech boogeymen to scare seniors into voting booths. (NB: that tactic didn’t work.) Now, another group voiced its criticism — specifically against Google’s autonomous car: the aptly but obviously named Consumer Watchdog group, based in Santa Monica, California.

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How Google Will Change Your Life

By , CANADIAN BUSINESS

7. September 2012

John Simpson is a former executive editor at Tribune Media and deputy editor of USA Today, now heading up Consumer Watchdog’s Inside Google project that focuses on the company’s dominance over the Internet. “We are not Google’s customers,” says Simpson. “We’re Google’s product. We use their services, that are now all combined, creating a digital dossier on us that becomes the real product offered to advertisers.”

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Judge Allows Challenge To Google Privacy Penalty

By , TECH DAILY DOSE BLOG - NATIONAL JOURNAL

29. August 2012

A federal judge has allowed a public interest group to challenge a $22.5 million fine Google agreed to pay earlier this month to settle allegations that it violated a consent decree it reached last year with the Federal Trade Commission related to violations of its privacy policies.

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Google, FTC Settlement Can Face Consumer Group Challenge

By , BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

29. August 2012

A public interest group won the right to oppose a $22.5 million consumer lawsuit settlement between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Google Inc. over a privacy breach of Apple Inc.’s Safari browser.

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