Consumer Watchdog Wants Genentech Exec To Quit Google Or Apple Board
Consumer Watchdog, formerly known as the Foundation for Taxpayer and
Consumer Rights, called on former Genentech CEO Arthur Levinson to pick one board or the other. ?It
took Eric Schmidt far too long to realize that the two roles are
incompatible. That’s not surprising considering the clubby atmosphere
of Silicon Valley,? said John M. Simpson, a Consumer Watchdog consumer
advocate, in a written statement. ?Nonetheless, we’re glad Schmidt
finally did the right thing. We call on Levinson to act responsibly and
choose one company or the other.?
Microsoft and Yahoo clearly are bracing for regulatory scrutiny. The news release emphasized that the two companies will "continue to compete vigorously" in other areas, including e-mail, instant messaging and display advertising. It also stressed that the agreement restricts the sharing of search and other data.
Consumer Watchdog in Washington, D.C., called on the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to probe the deal for potential antitrust violations and privacy concerns.
Consumer Watchdog — which, as the name implies is a consumer watchdog organization — is raising alarms over privacy concerns that have been brought to the fore as online search company Google engages in wheeling and dealing before the House Communications and Consumer Protection Subcommittee.
However, Google has also run into some high-profile controversies over
the past few months. In April, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Consumer
Watchdog publicly questioned the settlement between Google, The Author’s Guild
and the Association of American Publishers
(AAP) over the search-engine giant’s growing
digital library. In particular, Consumer Watchdog argued that the settlement, which gave
Google the same terms as any theoretical future competitor, deserved to be
placed under government review.
When Google meets with Congressional staffers, hoping to convince US lawmakers that it’s nothing but good for the world, the web giant likes to say that it believes in openness. "Open is better than closed, “the company says. Open "enhances competition" and "encourages innovation.” But if you ask the company to discuss its openness, it’s not too open about it. Late last week, the consumer watchdog known only as Consumer Watchdog
uncovered the canned pitch that Google recently launched at Capitol Hill in an effort to re-spin itself.
Since winning the grant last August, Consumer Watchdog has challenged Google
privacy practices related to its Gmail electronic mail program and its
Chrome Web browser. Last month, the group accused Google of lobbying
Congress to weaken privacy protections for medical records stored in
its Google Health program. “Their business model is incompatible with privacy,” says Jamie Court, Consumer Watchdog’s president.
A Santa Monica, California-based nonprofit group that advocates for
consumers is calling for the Internet’s search and ad leader to change
the way it records users’ information. Officials with Consumer Watchdog say they want to see Google Inc. store
personal search data for less than its current nine months, following
Yahoo!’s lead, and also to give users a choice to “opt out” out of data
retention, as some other search engines do.
I was surprised today when Internet giant Google today removed the "Beta" or test label from its new Chrome browser. Four-year-old Gmail still carries the "Beta" label. Despite the
changes, though, the Web browser still offers inadequate protection for
Consumer Watchdog is a consumer advocacy group that believes Google’s
e-mail service, called Gmail, is not private or secure. And Consumer
Watchdog says the security problem is not only with Gmail users, but
also with those who may not have Gmail but correspond with Gmail users.
With Google adding a browser to its search engine, cloud applications, ad tracking and toolbar, it already knows more about you than even your mother could. But Consumer Watchdog thinks the Lords of the Web should still make it easier for people to have a bit more privacy…
The nonprofit Consumer Watchdog
has called on Google to amend several features in its new browser that,
they claim, seriously compromise your privacy on the Web. You may have
noticed that whenever you start typing into Google’s search field, the
site starts suggesting topics for you. Google is, in fact, recording
and storing every keystroke you type, regardless of whether you hit the
search button or not. The company also stores your IP address, which
can narrow your physical location down to within a block or two. In
short, Google has compiled a profile of who you are and what you’re
like, along with a damn good idea of where you live. If the government
would like to know as well, and can get their hands on a subpoena,
there’s not much you can do about it.
Chief among the group’s complaints is Google Suggest, a
feature found in Chrome and other Google applications like Google
In an effort to publicize what it claims are the privacy failings of Google…
Online Video Targets Google’s New “Chrome” Browser, Websites And Software Revealed
SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog has created a You Tube video
showing how your computer could be having an unnoticed conversation
about you with Google. The nonprofit group has called on Google’s
founders and directors to adopt new privacy safeguards that allow for
anonymous internet and software use. Watch the video here and read the letter to Google’s founders here.