Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson points out that personalized advertisements targeted directly to a specific user, based on user-collected information, can be “a substantial amount” more lucrative than just an anonymous ad. And with all the information Google can collect about your interests from your searches, your Google Docs, and your favorite YouTube videos, they can figure out pretty specifically what ads they should show you. “They are positioning this as streamlining privacy,” Simpson says. “But that’s just PR. It’s all about better targeting for advertisers.”
Washington, DC – Consumer Watchdog today took Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt to task today over remarks made to The Washington Post in which he claimed Google should not be the subject of antitrust review because its services are “free” and made derogatory remarks about government officials being slow, backward and greedy.
Google hasn’t exactly made life easy for itself by already scanning millions of books. John M. Simpson, director of the privacy project for the non-profit California-based Consumer Watchdog group, supports the digitization of the world’s books, but says, “Google’s entire business model is to never ask permission, but to seek forgiveness if necessary. Judge Chin has ruled simply that you can’t take other people’s property and use it without asking.”
“Google has built a monopoly in search, and having a monopoly isn’t necessarily illegal,” said John Simpson, a frequent Google critic who has been following the company’s business practices for the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. “The question is once you are in a monopoly position, how do you use it? I think Google has repeatedly abused it, and that come out in this decision.”
Decision Sends Message Google Must Ask Permission Before Using Others’ Property
SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog praised Federal Judge Denny Chin today for rejecting the Google Books settlement and added that Google should finally learn it cannot usurp and exploit other people’s work and information without first asking permission. The decision also raised serious antitrust issues, the nonpartisan, nonprofit group noted.
John Simpson of settlement opponent Consumer Watchdog said the ruling “should send the message to the engineers at the Googleplex that the next time they want to use someone’s intellectual property, they need to ask permission.”
Google’s close relationship with the Obama administration has allowed the search giant inappropriate benefits such as access to a NASA airfield and lowered scrutiny on its private practices, according to a new report from Consumer Watchdog.
Struggling to find the definition for a word? Simply type “define: XXXX”, where XXXX is the word you’re asking about, into Google’s search box. Over at the New Yorker in an article called “Don’t Be Evil,” Simon Rich notes Google’s ability to serve up definitions. Then he has a little fun.
The story that Google is going into the music business, first floated by Tech Crunch last fall, has returned with CNet’s Greg Sandoval citing “multiple music industry sources” saying the launch could come this fall.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission received a letter on May 17 from Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, California-based group that frequently criticizes Google, calling for an investigation into the Street View matter.
Consumer Watchdog today formally launched its new Website, Inside Google, to focus attention on the company’s activities and hold Google accountable for its actions. The sites’ URL is http://insidegoogle.com.
Every month, Simpson comes to Washington to meet with staff on the Hill and regulatory agencies, journalists and corporate lobbyists. Simpson said he met last week with Jim Tierney, chief of the networks and technology section of the antitrust division of the Justice Department, and staffers about his petition for a broad investigation. Last year, he testified before Congress about privacy and competition concerns in Google’s book settlement.
Census Day – April 1 – got me thinking about the data the Census Bureau compiles about me. Google’s partnership with the bureau got me thinking about who has the most data and who poses…