“Clearly Microsoft and Yahoo have been turning a blind eye to these scammers,” said John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project. “Simply put, too many Internet companies including Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo–under the guise of an open Internet–allow and even encourage scam ads from which they make millions of dollars.”
One Google critic, the public advocacy firm, Consumer Watchdog, wants Google held accountable. It put out a report in February blasting Google for taking these fraudulent ads. They suggest that Google be fined in order to help compensate the victims of these scams.
While there are plenty of groups worried about Internet privacy, few have gone to the lengths of Consumer Watchdog, which relishes its role as a thorn in Google’s side. In addition to the videos, the group has sponsored conferences, written editorials, and taken out ads, all aimed at focusing a spotlight on Google’s conduct. Its primary concern is that Google is gathering a huge trove of personal information, much of it without consumers’ knowledge. Worse still, according to the group, is that consumers are powerless to stop it. Consumer Watchdog’s Court refers to the data that Google is able to amass as “an information monopoly.”
“This is exactly why Google is on the hot seat for antitrust,” said Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court, an activist and frequent thorn in Google side. “This is when the search engine becomes the find engine.”