John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project commented on the news, “A top Google executive will finally face serious questioning about the company’s behavior.”
A leading California consumer group has formally asked White House counsel to rule on the ethics of what it calls the Obama Administration’s “inappropriate” outreach — including State Dinner invites — to head honchos of Google, a firm reportedly under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
In January, Consumer Watchdog released a report that detailed the range of the federal government’s current contracts with Google. The amount of cash the group found is only $40 million, a tiny amount compared to Google’s annual revenue of almost $30 billion. But the contracts give the company a competitive edge in key emerging markets, as well as highlight the deepening relationship between Google and the Obama administration — and the conflicts of interest that could potentially arise.
Google “pretty clearly is using its dominant position to its own advantage,” said John Simpson, spokesman for Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit advocacy organization that has called for an investigation into Google’s practices for the past two years.
Consumer Watchdog is telling the White House that its cozy relationship with Google is inappropriate, given ongoing reviews by both the FTC and the Department of Justice.
Consumer Watchdog has been clamoring for Schmidt’s sworn testimony before Congress for over a year, ever since Germany caught Google harvesting private Wi-Fi data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in homes and businesses across the globe. Google had dispatched fleets of specially equipped cars through city streets in 30-plus nations to gather this data.
John Simpson, spokesman for Consumer Watchdog, notes that the FCC is continuing an investigation into Google’s past practice of sending fleets of specially equipped vehicles criss-crossing city streets in 30-plus nations to take photos for its mapping service — and to collect data from Wi-Fi systems in homes and businesses.
SACRAMENTO, CA – For the first time in American history a privacy proposal to give people the right to stop collection of their personal information online has passed a legislative committee.
A study by researchers at Intel Labs, Penn State and Duke University last year revealed that 15 of 30 popular Android apps send location data to advertisers — often without notifying users. “People don’t understand what’s going on with their data,” said John Simpson, director of consumer privacy at Consumer Watchdog. “It’s sort of being sucked up without their real knowledge.”
“No one has really understood the extent of the data collection going on with these spy phones,” said John M. Simpson, Washington-based director of nonprofit Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project. “Last week, it started to become clear just how much was going on.”
Consumer Watchdog’s scorecard is full of “evil” tally marks against Google. Some claim that Microsoft is spreading FUD, but legal woes facing Google seem to disagree that Google hasn’t crossed creepy line.
Consumer Watchdog, for one, believes the settlement falls short of its goal because it lacks bite. “We appreciate this landmark privacy decision by the FTC, but Google needs to be punished and feel pain on its bottom line,” John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director, said in a statement. “Nothing will completely stop Google from invading users’ privacy until it gets hit where it hurts, its bank accounts.”
WASHINGTON, DC — Consumer Watchdog praised the Federal Trade Commission for requiring Google to submit to privacy audits for the next twenty years, but said the Internet giant should also face monetary penalties for its abuses. The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group also called for government action to curtail Google’s anti-competitive practices.