Search Giant Tries To Pull Consumer Watchdog’s Funding
The U.S. privacy and consumer protection group Consumer Watchdog today shot back at Google for allegedly trying to have its funding withdrawn.
Washington, DC — Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court wrote
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt today questioning the company’s priorities
following efforts by one of Google’s top executives to dissuade a
charitable foundation from supporting the nonpartisan group’s privacy
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.
Bob Boorstin, Google’s Director of Corporate and Policy Communications,
issued a statement on Monday apologizing for sending information about
Consumer Watchdog to The Rose Foundation. Earlier on Monday, Consumer
Watchdog published the text of an email that Boorstin sent to the
foundation on February 9, in which he asked it to consider withdrawing
funding. Boorstin cited Consumer Watchdog’s campaign to highlight
Google’s alleged lobbying activities on Capitol Hill.
Santa Monica, CA — A national consumer group today called upon Google
to publicly disclose its lobbying positions on the electronic medical
record provisions of the financial stimulus legislation given a new
account by an independent journalist that Google’s presence on the bill
was felt on Capitol Hill.
Santa Monica, CA — The non-partisan Consumer Watchdog called on Google
today to cease a rumored lobbying effort aimed at allowing the sale of
electronic medical records in the current version of the Economic
Stimulus legislation. Consumer Watchdog called on Congress to remove
loopholes in the ban on the sale of medical records and include other
privacy protections absent from the current bill such as giving
patients the right to an audit detailing who had accessed their medical
records and how the records were used.
As Google grows into the behemoth of personal computing that it apparently wants to become, the firm has apparently decided to get bigger in another realm: political influence.