Google’s European troubles and one good thing about the Italian case

Google has taken a one-two punch to the chin this week from Europe first with the news that the European Commission is probing the Internet giant for possible antitrust violations followed by the conviction of three top executives for invasion of…

Consumer Watchdog Urges Justice To Include Search Manipulation In Google Probe

WASHINGTON, DC — Consumer Watchdog today called upon the Justice
Department to ensure that its ongoing antitrust probe of Google’s
business practices include an investigation of whether the Internet
giant is manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

Can Google Be Trusted? No: The Search Engine Must Do More To Protect Private Data

Few doubt that Internet giant Google is succeeding in its audacious
corporate mission "to organize the world’s information and make it
universally accessible and useful." The problem is that the mission
puts Google directly at odds with our privacy rights, and Google
appears unwilling to give consumers enough control.

Now’s Your Chance To Spy On Google

The Google Dashboard tool is also limited to information gathered on users when logged in to Google.  It
doesn’t give consumers access to information that might be tied to
individual consumers in other ways — such as searches associated with
individual computer IP address or cookies. That means it falls short of
being a true privacy tool, according to privacy rights advocacy group
Consumer Watchdog. "The
dashboard gives the appearance of control without the actual ability to
prevent Google from tracking you and delivering you to its marketers,”
said John M. Simpson, a spokesman for the nonprofit organization. "It
doesn’t reveal anything about what is at the heart of what I call
Google’s ‘black box’ — what is associated with your computer’s IP
address."

 

Google Dashboard Provides Too Much Info And Yet Not Enough

Indeed, privacy advocates, such as John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog, argued Google’s gesture with Dashboard was just a straw man and that if the company really wanted to help it would allow users to prevent search information from being logged or to prevent Google from tracking a user’s online activity while surfing the Web.

Poking At Google’s New Privacy Dashboard

… Dashboard doesn’t really give users any
clearer insights into what the company is doing with all of the data it
collects. John Simpson, a consumer advocate with Consumer Watchdog,
said if Google really wants people to use Dashboard, the company should
make it easier to find, noting that there are few links to the tool
from the landing pages of any Google properties. Simpson said Google
also should make it easier for users to blow away stored search and
activity data across multiple Google properties with a single click. "Google is maximizing the PR value of this feature in response to
critics who have demanded online privacy guarantees," Simpson said in a
written statement. "They are letting a little light shine into the
black box that is Google, but to claim that this is transparency is
absurd."

Dashboard Shows What Google Knows About You


Critics Say Google Makes Some Privacy Progress, But Call For More Transparency

Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit advocacy group formerly known as the
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, said in a statement today
that it applauds Google for giving users a single place to go to manage
their data. But at the same tine, the group also came down hard on
Google, contending that it needs to give users a vehicle for stopping
the company from collecting any personal data. The company should also
provide a way for users to delete their information from Google’s
servers, the group added.

Mixed Reviews For Google Dashboard

Google launched an application Thursday that allows users to see what data is stored in their accounts, but at least one group says the effort doesn’t go far enough. The Google Dashboard is "designed to be simple and useful" and summarizes data for a range of products from e-mail and calendar applications to social networking and video sharing platforms. Consumer Watchdog, a group that has repeatedly thrashed Google for its advertising and privacy protection practices, said the Internet giant should let users opt out of tracking and delete information associated with their computer’s IP address from Google’s servers.

Google Offers Users A Peek At Stored Data

Google, which has been criticized frequently for amassing large amounts of data about people, is giving users an easy way to find out what information it stores in their accounts. John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog, a frequent critic of Google, said
Dashboard gave users the appearance of control over privacy but did not
really prevent Google from tracking users across the Web. “What the Dashboard does is list all the information linked directly to
your name, but what it doesn’t do is let you know and control the data
directly tied to your computer’s IP address, which is Google’s black
box and data mine, Mr. Simpson said in a press release. “Google isn’t
truly protecting privacy until it lets you control that information.”

Google Dashboard Is Small Step For User Control, Consumer Watchdog Says

Group Calls for ‘Make-Me-Anonymous’ Button On Home Page

SANTA MONICA, CA — The new Google Dashboard touted by the Internet
giant as offering users “transparency, choice and control” of user data
stored by the company doesn’t give consumers adequate control over
protecting their information from Google’s marketing machine, Consumer
Watchdog said today. Consumer Watchdog applauded the company for giving consumers a single
place to go to manage data, but said Google needed to give consumers
the ability to stop being tracked by the company and to delete
information associated with their computer’s IP address from the Google
servers.

L.A. needs assurances before moving to Google’s ‘cloud’

Frustrated by an out-of-date email system that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s spokesman Matt Szabo calls "Pac-Man-era technology" the City of Los Angeles is considering entrusting…