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Blog Post
6/17/2015
By John M. Simpson
The Federal Communications Commission looks like it means business when it comes to enforcing open Internet rules.  It just slapped AT&T with a whopping $100 million fine, one of the largest ever, for improperly slowing, or “throttling” Internet speeds for people who purchased what the company had described  as “...
Blog Post
6/15/2015
By John M. Simpson
Consumer Watchdog has joined eight other privacy advocates and quit the so-called “multi-stakeholder process” being run by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications Administration to develop a code of conduct for companies using facial recognition technology. Frankly, the the process was doomed from the start....
Blog Post
6/4/2015
By John M. Simpson
I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to Mountain View, CA, to ask questions at the annual Google Shareholders’ meeting. This year I focused on privacy and safety issues involving the Internet giant’s robot cars. Three quick takeaways — besides the fact that Google’s executives know who we are:  Sergey Brin...
Blog Post
5/22/2015
By John M. Simpson
It looks as though Google is muscling into a position where it can gather even more information about us as we increasingly connect “smart” devices to the Internet, creating the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) As first reported by The Information, the Internet giant is  developing a “light” version of its Android...
Blog Post
5/19/2015
By John M. Simpson
Google’s YouTube Kids is even worse than we thought. A month ago Consumer Watchdog joined a coalition of  prominent children’s and consumer advocacy groups in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission requesting an investigation of Google, charging the company with unfair and deceptive practices in connection with its new...
Blog Post
5/5/2015
By John M. Simpson
There are many things I admire about Europe these days.  Near the top of my list is the so-called right to be forgotten. And then there’s the European antitrust actions against Internet giant, Google. The right to be forgotten allows people to request the removal of search engine links from their name to information that is inadequate,...
Blog Post
5/1/2015
By Carmen Balber
A landmark court decision was announced last night that will upend secrecy in the state Legislature. In response to a lawsuit by Bay Area and Los Angeles News Groups, which had sought records from the Legislature surrounding indicted Senators Leland Yee and Ron Calderon, a judge has ruled that the legislature must turn over calendars, meeting...
Blog Post
4/29/2015
Eddie Barrera
Doctors are more confident in prescribing pain medication after reviewing a patient’s medical history. We’ve received a few messages from patients worried that a proposal to have doctors check a patient’s medical history before prescribing powerful pain medications could prevent or delay them from getting their medicine. In fact...
Blog Post
4/29/2015
Eddie Barrera
It’s good to be king. As long as shareholders are happy, ratepayers continue to scramble to keep their health insurance. What’s to stop insurers? Nothing in California, that’s for sure. Anthem announced today that its first-quarter earnings jumped 23 percent. It earned $865.2 million in the quarter, more than $160 million than it...
Blog Post
4/28/2015
By Carmen Balber
Check a patient’s medical record. It’s a simple fix to a tragic prescription drug epidemic. When you have an annual checkup, your doctor checks your vital signs and draws blood for testing. But before she even does that, what does she do? She checks your medical record. And yet, 90 percent of California doctors who prescribe strong,...