Privacy advocates praised the move, saying that tracking has gotten out of hand. “Consumers have a right to know what information is gathered about them, how it is used and whether it is gathered at all,” says John M. Simpson, spokesman for the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.
Reback says it’s no secret that Microsoft was a member of the Open Book Alliance, a group formed to challenge Google over book authors’ rights. Other members of that alliance included Amazon, Yahoo, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses, the Internet Archive, the National Writers Union, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Small Press Distribution and the Special Libraries Association.
Last April, Consumer Watchdog published this report, titled Traffic Report: How Google Is Squeezing Out Competitors and Muscling Into New Markets. The group formally asked the Justice Department to launch an antitrust probe of the search giant. But the European Commission beat their U.S. counterparts to the punch. “I welcome the European action, but Google is a U.S. Company and it’s long past time for our authorities to launch an investigation,” says Consumer Watchdog spokesman John Simpson.
Leading the call for Congressional oversight is John M. Simpson, managing director of the non-profit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. Simpson calls this two-page letter the FTC sent to Google on Wednesday “premature and wrong. “
For the first nine months of 2010, Google spent $3.92 million, approaching the $4.03 million the search giant spent wooing federal officials in all of 2009, Senate disclosure records show. “Google has a group of well-connected lobbyists and is willing to spend freely to influence federal lawmakers and regulators,” says John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Inside Google Project. “They appear to be on track to spend a total of $5 million to peddle influence this year.”
The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog is broadcasting Jumbotron video ads all this week in the heart of New York’s Times Square to mock Google as a big chicken for dodging a privacy debate.
John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog, concurs. He says the Google-Verizon proposal “pays lip service” to Net Neutrality and contains two fundamental flaws.
“Ultimately, consumers would pay the costs for the premium delivery, or worse, would never see the content of smaller companies,” says John Simpson, director of advocacy group Consumer Watchdog. “Google claims it won’t use premium channels for delivery, but not long ago they professed to defend true net neutrality.”
The Washington Post’s Top Secret America investigation about the vast scale and scope of U.S. government top-secret work, published this week, has revealed some troubling alliances with giant corporations to potentially spy on individual citizens. The Post identified 1,931 companies engaged in top-secret work for the government, including search giant Google. Citing revelations from the Post’s report, the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, is petitioning Congress to look examine whether Google’s Wi-Fi spying may be tied to Google’s government contracts.
Canada’s move follows confirmation that a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation of Google is also underway. The advocacy group Consumer Watchdog requested the FTC probe on May 17. The agency responded that it was “reviewing” that request.
“Google advocates openness and transparency for everyone else, but when it comes to their own activities, the company is extremely secretive,” said Consumer Watchdog spokesman John Simpson. “Inside Google will focus needed public attention on Google’s activities.”