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Feds Probe Privacy Violations Involving Smartphone App Data

Federal prosecutors are taking a look at what smartphone application makers do with the data they collect from their users.

Their investigation came to light Monday in a regulatory filing by Internet radio company Pandora. Oakland-based Pandora said it had received a subpoena from a federal grand jury early this year.

Consumer Watchdog Challenges New Google Chief To Support Do-Not-Track

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The privacy group Consumer Watchdog is challenging Google to improve its privacy standards as the company undergoes a regime change in its top office. 

On Larry Page's first day as chief executive, the watchdog asked him to support a Do-Not-Track regime for Internet privacy outlined in a California state bill.

The watchdog group also dug into former chief executive Eric Schmidt, who is staying on at the company in a different role. 

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.