Anti-Google Video Ad On Privacy Running In Times Square

Wed, Sep 8, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    An anti-Google video is running on a billboard in Times Square, criticizing the search company on privacy issues.

    The 15-second cartoon depicts Chief Executive Eric Schmidt as an ice cream peddler with the text, “He’s collecting your personal information.”

    The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog, based in Santa Monica, Calif., is running the $25,000 campaign on a 560-square-foot CBS Jumbotron in Times Square. The video will air 36 times a day, in between promos for the TV show “CSI,” until Oct. 15.

    “It’s about exposing the recent abuses of online privacy by Google and offline privacy through Wi-Fi,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “And confronting Mr. Schmidt about his bizarre statement that seemed to suggest there should be no privacy for anyone anymore.”

    The nonprofit, which does not receive funding from Microsoft, is also urging Congress to pass a “Do Not Track” list for online privacy similar to the “Do Not Call” list. Google has been criticized for tracking people’s searches and e-mail, exposing personal information through Google Buzz and tracking information on unsecure Wi-Fi networks, which Google has apologized for.

    Here is Consumer Watchdog’s blog about the campaign:

    It plans to change the ad during the six-week run.

    Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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