Outrage continues to rise over Google’s “WiSpy” efforts that saw its Street View cars snoop on private WiFi networks as they roamed the streets of 30 countries over the last three years. Europeans contemplated criminal charges; U.S. lawmakers asked the Federal Trade Commission what it’s doing and a class action suit was filed in Oregon.
Consumer Watchdog and Center for Digital Democracy were concerned more about the impact the deal would have on consumers’ ability to protect their privacy than the possible antitrust implications of the acquisition.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission received a letter on May 17 from Consumer Watchdog, a Santa Monica, California-based group that frequently criticizes Google, calling for an investigation into the Street View matter.
Consumer Watchdog today formally launched its new Website, Inside Google, to focus attention on the company’s activities and hold Google accountable for its actions. The sites’ URL is http://insidegoogle.com.
The White House Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Google’s former top global lobbyist, has been reprimanded for ethics violations that were revealed after a Freedom of Information Act Request from Consumer Watchdog.
Consumer advocacy group Consumer Watchdog said Monday it was sending the FTC a letter urging the agency to investigate the mishap. John Simpson, the group’s consumer advocate, said he was concerned that Google’s promise to get third-parties to review the software in question was insufficient.
One of Google’s most outspoken critics is Consumer Watchdog; and, after this latest news, it is renewing its call for a regulatory crackdown on the company.
“The FTC needs to ask what did Google know and when did Google know it,” says John Simpson. “Google’s suggestion for a third-party audit is inadequate…That would be like like getting to pick and pay the referees in a championship basketball game. This investigation must be done by a regulatory authority capable of imposing real sanctions.”
Consumer Watchdog today called on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an immediate probe of Google’s snooping on private WiFi networks as the Internet giant sent its Street View cars to gather information.
“Once again Google has demonstrated a lack of concern for privacy,” Consumer Watchdog Consumer Advocate John M. Simpson said in a statement. “Its computer engineers run amok, push the envelope and gather whatever data they can until their fingers are caught in the cookie jar. Then a Google executive apologizes, mouthing bafflegab about how privacy matters to the company.”
Consumer Watchdog, a group that has become one of Google’s most outspoken critics, renewed its call for a regulatory crackdown Friday. “Once again, Google has demonstrated a lack of concern for privacy,” said Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson. “Its computer engineers run amok, push the envelope and gather whatever data they can until their fingers are caught in the cookie jar.”
Consumer Watchdog says the FTC should find out exactly what Google logged, how long it collected the information and what it ended up doing with it. “Google has demonstrated a history of pushing the envelope and then apologizing when its overreach is discovered,” the group said Monday in a press release. “Given its recent record of privacy abuses, there is absolutely no reason to trust anything the Internet giant claims about its data collection policies.”
Google could announce this week that it will move SSL encryption implemented in Gmail to other services such as search. During the company’s annual shareholders meeting a question on this from John Simpson, an investor who works for Consumer Watchdog, prompted a curt “Do you get the drift of the answer?” from Google chief executive officer Eric Schmidt after Google vice president of search Marissa Mayer replied “stay tuned.” Encryption has moved to the forefront after Google’s admission last week it had collected small pieces of private information people sent through unencrypted wireless networks.