Consumer Watchdog, a consumer-rights group, has expressed reservations about the cars on privacy grounds, saying they would allow Google to gather personal information about passengers.
Consumer groups charge Google and other companies are really only interested in using the on-board computers to track people’s movements like on the Web.
Another lingering concern about driverless cars is privacy. The machines will have to collect and store certain information about a person’s movements as part of their basic functioning, as well as to improve their performance over time. Because of pressure from privacy advocates, the law requires manufacturers to provide written disclosures describing the data collected. But John Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project, says that doesn’t go far enough.
SANTA MONICA, CA – The driverless car law signed today by Gov. Jerry Brown at a ceremony at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View poses threats to Californians’ safety and privacy, Consumer Watchdog said.
Opponents of the bill included the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Consumer Watchdog. Automakers have raised liability concerns, while Consumer Watchdog argued Google’s driverless cars should not be allowed on California roads until privacy protections are in place.
Consumer Watchdog has criticized the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5-million fine that Google might pay in connection with privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser.
A deal that calls for Google to pay a $22.5 million civil penalty for tracking Safari users should be rejected, Consumer Watchdog argues in new court papers. “The proposed settlement is markedly unusual and deficient,” the organization says in papers filed on Friday with U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO – The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed $22.5 million settlement with Google for hacking past privacy settings on Apple’s Safari browser fails to include a permanent injunction against violating its “Buzz” Consent Decree with the Commission, one of three reasons it be should be rejected, Consumer Watchdog said today.
“It is clear that we do need better protection of vulnerable networks,” John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, told TechNewsWorld. “Congress was unable to act, so I suppose the Administration is taking steps.” He cautioned, however, that he had not seen a copy of the draft order.
Google never admitted it violated any FTC regulations, although it did agree to pay the fine. The group ConsumerWatchdog.org criticized the settlement because it felt the fine wasn’t large enough, and because Google never had to admit it did anything wrong. John Simpson, director of the privacy project at ConsumerWatchdog.org said, “This is letting Google buy its way out of trouble.”
The large number of applications from the two companies would make the Internet ‘privatized,’ Consumer Watchdog says
A consumer group, citing concerns about the creation of a new, private Internet, has asked a senior U.S. senator to help block Google and Amazon.com from buying dozens of generic top-level domains (gTLDs) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
Control of New Strings Could Threaten Free Internet
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Watchdog today urged Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D –W.VA) to block attempts by Google and Amazon to buy control of huge swaths of the Internet by purchasing new generic Top Level Domains through the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
A consumer advocacy organization warns that the cars could do more than that, collecting personal information that could be shared with others, and is asking for a gubernatorial veto of the bill approving them, which was passed by the state legislature in August. “The California autonomous car legislation does not provide adequate privacy protection,” says Consumer Watchdog spokesperson John Simpson. “Data should be gathered and retained only as long as necessary to operate the vehicle. The consumer must opt in if it is used for any other purpose.”