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Car Perk Will Get Scrutiny

California is the only state that provides lawmakers with a car, gas and maintenance paid largely by taxpayers.

The perk has withstood the recessionary economy and several rounds of budget-cutting, including $11.2 billion in measures the Legislature approved and Gov. Jerry Brown signed in March.

Google Privacy Settlement Unlikely To Cause Big Change

Google this week agreed to a new privacy program as part of a Federal Trade Commission settlement, a move that translates into a major mea culpa for the search giant -- and a strong warning to other information-gathering Internet companies. But consumers are unlikely to see widespread Internet-privacy changes as a result, consumer protection groups say.

Columnist Asks: Will Farmers Insurance Settlement Turn Into A Good Deal For Customers? Not Likely...

Today Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik takes a hard look at a proposed settlement in a lawsuit against Farmers Insurance opposed by Consumer Watchdog.  According to Hiltzik, under the settlement, Farmers would likely keep the lion's share of a $455 million settlement fund intended for consumers while lawyers for the plaintiff would walk away with $90 million in fees.

Google Introduces New Social Tool and Settles Privacy Charge

Google is trying social networking again, even as it pays a price for earlier privacy blunders.

Google introduced its latest social tool on Wednesday, the same day it settled with the Federal Trade Commission over charges of deceptive privacy practices last year for Buzz, the social networking tool in Gmail.