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Blog Post
11/17/2014
By John M. Simpson
How is a consumer supposed to know if an online company is actually following the practices and keeping the promises that it outlines in its all-too-often almost incomprehensible privacy policy? Assuming you do read and understand it, most of us don’t have the resources or ability to verify that the company is actually doing what it claims....
Blog Post
11/14/2014
By John M. Simpson
Internet giant Google is so rapidly expanding both its data collecting and its political clout that it may become too powerful to be held accountable, according to a new study by our friends at Public Citizen. The 69-page report from the public interest group, titled Mission Creep-y: Google Is Quietly Becoming One Of the Nation’s Most...
Blog Post
11/5/2014
By Jamie Court
$100 million spent by insurance companies against our two pro-consumer initiatives, coupled with an historic low voter turnout, was a recipe for consumers to lose Tuesday night. The defeat of California Propositions 45 and 46 are a sobering reminder of the power of big corporate money in California politics when the electorate is not engaged. A...
Blog Post
11/3/2014
By Harvey Rosenfield
No candidate on the ballot this year can do as much for you as two propositions backed by Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation and other champions of the underdog.  YES ON PROP 45 will give us the power to stop price gouging by the health insurance companies. Congress requires us to buy health insurance, but they didn’...
Blog Post
10/29/2014
By Jamie Court
Four health insurance companies are spending $56 million to defeat California Proposition 45, a ballot measure to be decided Tuesday, which I wrote, that bans excessive insurance rate hikes. The insurance companies have unleashed a torrent of deceptive advertising but have remarkably refused to issue a single comment to the news media on Prop 45...
Blog Post
10/10/2014
By John M. Simpson
Since The European Court of Justice ruled  that citizens of the European Union have a “right to be be forgotten” Google and other search engine operators have been doing their best to undermine the court’s decision.  Instead — if they would actually listen to their users — they would be figuring out how to...
Blog Post
9/10/2014
By John M. Simpson
I don’t often agree with Google, but today I must admit that the Internet giant said exactly the right thing and came out strongly in support of net neutrality. Net neutrality is the idea that all traffic is treated equally on the Internet.  The Federal Communications Commission is in the process of considering rules that could allow...
Blog Post
9/8/2014
By John M. Simpson
The European Commission’s Competition Commissioner said over the weekend that Google’s proposed antitrust settlement is inadequate and added he would seek further concessions from the Internet giant. It’s clear to me that settlement talks will prove fruitless and that after almost four years of investigation and negotiation, it...
Blog Post
8/29/2014
By John M. Simpson
An $8.5 million settlement  in a class action privacy lawsuit against Google “doesn’t pass the smell test” a federal judge said at a fairness hearing on the proposed deal Friday in San Jose, CA, indicating he will likely reject it. Five consumer privacy groups — Consumer Watchdog, the Electronic Privacy Information...
Blog Post
8/29/2014
By John M. Simpson
You know how Google executives are always claiming that they care about privacy?  Well, yet again their actions demonstrate  just how empty those claims actually are are. Disconnect, a San Francisco based startup just spent a year and $300,000 developing a privacy protecting app for Android smartphones called Disconnect Mobile. Like...