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…
The Google Dashboard tool is also limited to information gathered on users when logged in to Google. It
doesn’t give consumers access to information that might be tied to
individual consumers in other ways — such as searches associated with
individual computer IP address or cookies. That means it falls short of
being a true privacy tool, according to privacy rights advocacy group
Consumer Watchdog. "The
dashboard gives the appearance of control without the actual ability to
prevent Google from tracking you and delivering you to its marketers,”
said John M. Simpson, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization. "It
doesn’t reveal anything about what is at the heart of what I call
Google’s ‘black box’ — what is associated with your computer’s IP
Indeed, privacy advocates, such as John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, argued Google’s gesture with Dashboard was just a straw man and that if the company really wanted to help it would allow users to prevent search information from being logged or to prevent Google from tracking a user’s online activity while surfing the Web.
Critics Say Google Makes Some Privacy Progress, But Call For More Transparency
Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group formerly known as the
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said in a statement today
that it applauds Google for giving users a single place to go to manage
their data. But at the same tine, the group also came down hard on
Google, contending that it needs to give users a vehicle for stopping
the company from collecting any personal data. The company should also
provide a way for users to delete their information from Google’s
servers, the group added.
Google launched an application Thursday that allows users to see what data is stored in their accounts, but at least one group says the effort doesn’t go far enough. The Google Dashboard is "designed to be simple and useful" and summarizes data for a range of products from e-mail and calendar applications to social networking and video sharing platforms. Consumer Watchdog, a group that has repeatedly thrashed Google for its advertising and privacy protection practices, said the Internet giant should let users opt out of tracking and delete information associated with their computer’s IP address from Google’s servers.
Google, which has had a bullseye on its back when it comes to Internet privacy, on Thursday launched a Web site that shows people what data Gmail, Google Calendar and more than a dozen other Google products store about them. John Simpson of consumer-advocacy organization Consumer Watchdog said
the dashboard focuses on data that people have consciously shared with
Google while they are logged into various Google accounts, but ignores
all the data that Google collects and ties to a user’s computer address
and through other software, known as cookies. “The dashboard is really the appearance of control without giving users
the ability to see how Google tracks them all over the place,” he said.
In a letter last week to City Councilman Bernard C. Parks, John Simpson
of advocacy group Consumer Watchdog noted the stark language Google
uses to describe the many things that could go wrong with its
The Los Angeles City Council’s Information Technology and General Services (ITGS) Committee on Tuesday
Santa Monica, CA — Google should be praised for agreeing to offer
improved security for users of its online services like Gmail, Consumer
Watchdog said today, but the non-partisan, non-profit consumer group
asked why the the company waited so long to act.
Among the most frustrating things about online services and Internet companies are the "terms of service" policies governing how the businessses interact with you and use your personal information.
Internet companies claim…
However, Google has also run into some high-profile controversies over
the past few months. In April, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Consumer
Watchdog publicly questioned the settlement between Google, The Author’s Guild
and the Association of American Publishers
(AAP) over the search-engine giant’s growing
digital library. In particular, Consumer Watchdog argued that the settlement, which gave
Google the same terms as any theoretical future competitor, deserved to be
placed under government review.