Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, is getting a little bit of ink for his suggestion that all politicians elected today quit their parties and “govern as independents in name and in spirit.”
Signs that Google will soon face strong antitrust action on both sides of the Atlantic are increasing with a report Thursday from Bloomberg News Service that the the Federal Trade Commission staff has recommended that the Internet giant be sued for unfairly blocking competitors’ access to smartphone-technology patents.
“I think Romney would let the effort die,” said John Simpson, privacy project director for Consumer Watchdog, a Washington-based public interest group. “He’s an advocate of less regulation on business, so I don’t see much hope that he would be would be concerned about privacy.”
SANTA MONICA, CA — Google and Facebook continued to pump money into their Washington lobbying efforts in the third quarter with the Internet giant spending its second most amount in one quarter while the social networking company spent its most ever for one quarter.
“Google and Facebook would have you believe that they are different from other corporations,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “They are not. They are following the corrupt corporate tradition in Washington: buying what you want.”
John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog, a group critical of Google, says in a statement that Google acted with “complete disregard” for users’ privacy. “I am glad the European Union is calling out their abuses, but am disappointed that American consumers must look across the Atlantic to see privacy rights defended,” Simpson said.
Consumer privacy also is at risk through the new legislation, says John Simpson, privacy project supervisor for the nonprofit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. California’s new driverless-auto law “gives the user no control over what data will be gathered and how the information will be used,” Simpson tells WardsAuto. “That’s where we have a problem.”
“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.
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.