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In The News

Consumer Watchdog's experts and advocates are quoted every day in the printed press, online, and on TV and radio. Below are selections from our appearances in the news.

News Story
3/20/2015
By Jennifer Abel, CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Yet the FTC publicly announced the exact opposite conclusion. The Wall Street Journal has acquired and released internal Federal Trade Commission documents that raise some interesting questions about the FTC's official handling of an antitrust investigation into Google's practices. Specifically, FTC staff members...
News Story
3/20/2015
By Staff Reporters, BBC NEWS
A man who posted a hoax suicide threat on Facebook ending up being arrested and put in a psychiatric institution for nearly three days. Shane Tusch, 48, a part-time electrician from San Mateo, California, said he wanted to test Facebook's revamped suicide prevention programme. But after threatening to hang himself from the Golden Gate Bridge,...
News Story
3/20/2015
By Allen Young, SACRAMENTO BUSINESS JOURNAL
It will be years before driverless cars are released to the public, but one consumer activist group is already taking aim at Google, one company that is blazing the technological trail. The California Department of Motor Vehicles is leading the country, and the rest of the world, in writing regulations that will determine what kind of oversight it...
News Story
3/20/2015
By Truman Lewis, CONSUMER AFFAIRS
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is saying his company will have driverless cars in the U.S. by this summer. Google is working on its pod-shaped driverless cars and just about everyone else is talking about getting into the act. The assumption is that driverless cars will be safer than those with humans at the wheel. But is that really true? A California...
News Story
3/19/2015
By Bryan Jonston, AUTO CONNECTED CAR NEWS
There are consumer advocates watching out for driverless self-driving cars and the safety of drivers, pedestrians, traffic cops and more. Consumer Watchdog sent a letter the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Today, Consumer Watchdog warned the California DMV that it shouldn’t let Google and others with a vested interest in developing...
News Story
3/19/2015
By Jerry Hirsch, LOS ANGELES TIMES
In a move that demonstrates how the mechanical and electronic worlds are converging, Tesla Motors plans to update many of its Model S sedans with functions that include automatic braking when the vehicle senses a pending collision, a partial autopilot system, and even a robotic parking program that will tuck a car into its garage while its owner...
News Story
3/19/2015
By Chad Terhune, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California and state tax authorities both came under fire for not disclosing seven months ago a landmark decision taking away the insurer's tax-exempt status, which had been in place since 1939. The Times first reported Wednesday that the California Franchise Tax Board had quietly revoked Blue Shield's...
News Story
3/18/2015
By Jon Brooks, KQED STATE OF HEALTH BLOG
On the Blue Shield of California Web page called “What Does Being a Not-for-Profit Mean to Us?” the health insurer provides an answer: Operationally, it means we don’t answer to Wall Street – we don’t need to generate returns to shareholders. Philosophically, being a not-for-profit means we’re guided by our...
News Story
3/18/2015
By Victoria Colliver, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The state Franchise Tax Board has stripped Blue Shield of California of its tax-exempt status, a move that could make the 76-year-old San Francisco health insurer responsible for paying millions in state income taxes. Officials from the tax board would not explain why they took the action in August, but critics have long accused the insurer, until...
News Story
3/18/2015
By Chad Terhune, LOS ANGELES TIMES
Authorities have revoked the tax-exempt status of nonprofit Blue Shield of California, potentially putting it on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year. The move by the California Franchise Tax Board comes as the state's third-largest health insurer faces fresh criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and $4.2...