Consumers Have A Right To Online Anonymity

The FTC’s job is make sure that consumers have control of what data
is gathered, how it is used and how long it’s kept. Consumers must
first be able to see what data Google and the other online companies
have accumulated, then delete it if they wish or prevent it from being
gathered in the first place. Control is the key. Google could long ago have offered everyone a
simple "make me anonymous" button. But it’s not likely that Google or
any other company will voluntarily give us that control, because it
endangers their advertising profits.

Smart Phone Apps Can Find You, Follow You

The Center for Digital Democracy and U.S. Public Interest Research
Group filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission last January,
arguing that people should be asked for their consent before their
information can be collected and used for mobile advertising. The
Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog have urged the FTC
to reject Google’s acquisition of AdMob, citing both competitive and
privacy concerns.

Con: Why Los Angeles Should Worry About Google’s E-mail System

Google wants the city of Los Angeles to switch its 30,000 e-mail users
to an Internet-based system it operates, but rather than address real
questions about the security of such "cloud computing" systems the
Internet giant changes its story depending on its audience.

Consumer Watchdog Highlights Google Hypocrisy In Differing ‘Cloud Computing’ Statements

Group Also Releases 3rd Round Of Annotated Google Documents In ‘Charmwatch’ Campaign

SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog today slammed Google for its
apparent hypocrisy in marketing its new "cloud computing" products,
blandly assuring customers that their data is secure on Google Internet
servers but at the same time warning shareholders of the security risks
posed by swift expansion of its commercial online business. The
nonpartisan, nonprofit group sent a letter to a Los Angeles City
Councilman showing that Google says one thing when trying to sell its
products, but something else in federally required filings aimed at
shareholders. Consumer Watchdog also released another round of
annotated Google P.R. documents in its Google “Charmwatch” campaign.  

Google Presentation On “Google, Competition and Openness” Shared With Justice Department And Myths Debunked By Consumer Watchdog

Washington, DC — Consumer Watchdog has sent to the U.S. Justice
Department a Google document presenting the best corporate arguments
for why Google should not be viewed as monopolistic, along with a
duplicate of the presentation marked up with comments from an expert
countering the claims.  The nonprofit consumer group received both
documents from an anonymous industry insider. Leaked Google Presentation Meant To Counter Fed Inquiries On Competition

Is Google a monopoly? That question, which is increasingly gaining the
attention of regulators in Washington, D.C., is also the subject of an
intense public relations war between Google and detractors. Today, a new front was opened up, after a consumer advocacy group
released a copy of a Google presentation on Google’s business
practices, along with critical commentary that casts doubt on Google’s
claims that it supports competition. The group,,
said that the Google presentation is part of a campaign to counter
federal inquiries into potentially anticompetitive practices.

Google Pro-Openness Campaign Meets Opposition

Google has launched a wide-ranging campaign highlighting its "competition and openness," meeting with everyone from policymakers to media in order to convince them of its anti-monopolistic intentions. Certain consumer-advocacy organizations, however, do not have a warm and fuzzy feeling about Google’s motives. In a May 8 news release, nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog described sending the U.S. Justice Department a copy of a document that Google had been using to back its anti-monopolistic claims; the nonprofit group had taken the liberty of marking the document up with comments.

Facing Criticism, Google Tries Buffing Its Image

Google, having dealt with two major antitrust issues 2008 and facing
the potential of more to come, has begun a program to try to spruce up
its image and show that competition is alive and well. Consumer Watchdog on Friday plans to tout a Google presentation titled
Google, Competition, and Openness (PDF) that the advocacy group
uncovered. The company presentation (also embedded below) gives
Google’s views that it faces plenty of competition in a dynamic market.