A consumer group on Wednesday penned a letter to European regulators asking them to block the pending merger of Google and Motorola Mobility on anticompetitive grounds.
Several groups were all in favor of the subcommittee using a subpoena. “What are Page and Schmidt afraid of? What do they have to hide? Congress should use its subpoena power to determine whether Google’s dominance of the search industry is enabling the company to monopolize the Internet,” said Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson.
EPIC wants the FTC to require Facebook to stop using the technology pending an investigation, as well as ultimately make it opt-in.The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) joined with the Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, and the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse to file a complaint with the agency, arguing that the facial-recognition software is “unfair and deceptive.”
The bills were heralded by consumer groups, like Consumer Watchdog. “Consumers should have the right to choose if their private information – from shoe size, to health concerns, to religious beliefs – is collected, analyzed and profiled by companies tracking activities online,” said Carmen Balber, Washington director for Consumer Watchdog. “Do Not Track is the simple way for consumers to say ‘no thanks’ to being monitored while they surf the Web.”
In a statement, Consumer Watchdog said the Gallup/USA Today poll underscores the need for “do not track” legislation. The group pointed to a poll it conducted last summer that found that 90 percent of the 1,000 people it polled wanted legislation to protect their online privacy, while another 80 percent supported “do not track.” Another 86 percent wanted a single button that would enable anonymous Web browsing.
The quest for comprehensive, federal privacy legislation has been on many a lawmakers’ wish list for years, and two House members took the next step this week with the release of draft legislation that would require opt-in access to sensitive online data, an expectation of privacy regarding third-party apps, and easily accessible privacy practices. Consumer groups, however, said the bill does not do enough and criticized provisions that would prevent stronger state laws or individual lawsuits.
A group of ten consumer groups on Tuesday called on Congress to enact
meaningful privacy legislation, and slammed industry efforts as totally
inadequate. The groups are most concerned about behavioral tracking, a technique
used by Internet companies to serve up more targeted ads or results
based on your Web
browsing activities. Are you searching for information on Paris? You
might see ads on the right-hand bar for travel deals or hotels, or
links to blog posts about the French city.