“Google has demonstrated an ability to out-maneuver government regulators repeatedly and ride roughshod over the privacy rights of consumers. Google continues to be disingenuous about its practices,” says John Simpson, privacy project director at US organization Consumer Watchdog.
Santa Monica, California — October 1, 2012 — Last week, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a driverless car law into effect at a ceremony at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. According to advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, the law poses threats to safety and privacy.
With all that technology at work, John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project, says manufacturers will have to let the public know in writing how much data about them and their movements is being collected by the driverless vehicle.
Consumer Watchdog, a consumer-rights group, has expressed reservations about the cars on privacy grounds, saying they would allow Google to gather personal information about passengers.
Consumer groups charge Google and other companies are really only interested in using the on-board computers to track people’s movements like on the Web.
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.
SANTA MONICA, CA – The driverless car law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown at a ceremony at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View poses threats to Californians’ safety and privacy, Consumer Watchdog said.
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.
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.
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.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5 million settlement with Google for hacking past privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser fails to include a permanent injunction against violating its “Buzz” Consent Decree with the Commission, one of three reasons it be should be rejected, Consumer Watchdog said today.
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.”
“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].”