SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today welcomed President Obama’s attention on consumer privacy and data breach issues, but cautioned that legislation he proposes must not provide weaker protection than is already offered by some state laws.
WASHINGTON, DC – Google spent $3.82 million lobbying federal lawmakers and regulators during the first quarter of 2014, making it the top spender among 15 top technology and telecommunications companies, according to an analysis of lobbying disclosure forms Consumer Watchdog said today.
SANTA MONICA, CA – Google led in lobbying spending by ten tech firms who pumped a combined $61.15 million into efforts to influence federal regulators and lawmakers in 2013, up 15.9 percent from a combined total of $52.78 million, according to records filed with the Clerk of the House this week.
Obama Must Propose Legislation If He Cares About Privacy, Consumer Watchdog Says
WASHINGTON, DC – A yearlong effort convened by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) demonstrates the futility of crafting codes of conduct through a voluntary multi-stakeholder process and the way participants were asked their opinion of the proposed code makes a mockery of the effort, Consumer Watchdog said today.
Google apparently is ending an egregious privacy breach involving people who buy apps from its Google Play store using Google Wallet to pay. Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission with a copy to California Attorney General Kamala Harris about what Google was doing. The complaint alleged that the Internet giant was violating its privacy policies and its “Buzz” consent agreement with the FTC.
Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder, is getting a little bit of ink for his suggestion that all politicians elected today quit their parties and “govern as independents in name and in spirit.”
Signs that Google will soon face strong antitrust action on both sides of the Atlantic are increasing with a report Thursday from Bloomberg News Service that the the Federal Trade Commission staff has recommended that the Internet giant be sued for unfairly blocking competitors’ access to smartphone-technology patents.
Consumer Watchdog challenges that $4 million figure. “The government has not given this court any insight into how it made its calculations,” the organization argues, adding that it needs more evidence from Google in order to determine the extent of profits from the workaround.
“I think Romney would let the effort die,” said John Simpson, privacy project director for Consumer Watchdog, a Washington-based public interest group. “He’s an advocate of less regulation on business, so I don’t see much hope that he would be would be concerned about privacy.”
While the FTC and Google came up with the settlement, it needs to be approved by a judge, which is what next month’s hearing is about. Consumer Watchdog, an advocacy group that has been critical of Google’s privacy measures, will argue that the court should not sign off on the deal.
SANTA MONICA, CA — Google and Facebook continued to pump money into their Washington lobbying efforts in the third quarter with the Internet giant spending its second most amount in one quarter while the social networking company spent its most ever for one quarter.
“Google and Facebook would have you believe that they are different from other corporations,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “They are not. They are following the corrupt corporate tradition in Washington: buying what you want.”
John Simpson, of Consumer Watchdog, a group critical of Google, says in a statement that Google acted with “complete disregard” for users’ privacy. “I am glad the European Union is calling out their abuses, but am disappointed that American consumers must look across the Atlantic to see privacy rights defended,” Simpson said.
“Google has demonstrated an ability to out-maneuver government regulators repeatedly and ride roughshod over the privacy rights of consumers. Google continues to be disingenuous about its practices,” says John Simpson, privacy project director at US organization Consumer Watchdog.