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Big Data

News Release
12/1/2015
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Airbnb’s release of anonymized data about people who use its site to rent their property “will give New York City the necessary information to craft needed regulations and to enforce them” while still protecting privacy, Consumer Watchdog said today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group stated...
News Story
10/22/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The Federal Trade Commission has served as businesses’ chief security enforcer for 13 years. When U.S. companies lose or expose customers’ personal data to hackers, they potentially have to also reckon with complaints from the government agency. If two companies suing the FTC—hotel operator Wyndham Worldwide and now-defunct...
News Story
9/15/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
What guarantees are there that the data gathered by Google's News Lab will be untainted? "There is a real danger in relying too much on information that is curated by an entity that likely has skin in the game," said Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson. Google offers powerful -- and sometimes useful -- tools from which partners can...
News Story
3/8/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Maybe the data gods don’t have us all pegged — yet. One of the biggest data collectors and sellers, Little Rock-based Acxiom, knows all about my house, my car and my purchases of vegetable seeds. It believes I have 32 interests — 21 of which are accurate. But its files also say that my education ended with high school,...
News Story
2/27/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Letters to the 78.8 million people affected by a massive health insurance security breach are expected to start hitting the mail next week, an Anthem official said Thursday. Messages are already being sent to millions of members who provided the insurance company with their email addresses. The letters and emails are general alerts explaining the...
News Release
2/13/2015
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today called on President Obama to back mandatory encryption of sensitive data like health records to prevent damaging data breaches like the Anthem Inc. hack that compromised the records of 80 million people. The nonprofit nonpartisan public interest group made its call as Obama was speaking at The White...
News Story
2/8/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Even seated, Mary Haynes' body is perpetually in motion. Her torso lurches side to side when she speaks, while Mike Tossy's body is noticeably still. His eyes dart around, but his head rarely turns.     Both Haynes and Tossy suffer from Parkinson's disease -- a neurodegenerative disorder affecting nearly a million...
News Story
2/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Argue for deeper dive into consolidation of data trackers/aggregators/marketers Consumer groups are pushing the Federal Trade Commission to take a more muscular approach to vetting consolidation in the era of Big Data, including launching an investigation into the impact on the public of consolidation in "consumer offline and online data...
News Story
2/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should launch an investigation into the growing consolidation of big data analytics firms and digital marketing companies, a coalition of four privacy groups said Friday. A recent spate of acquisitions in the big data and digital marketing industries raises privacy concerns about “companies amassing...
News Story
2/6/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Late last year, when Oracle announced it had reached a deal to purchase Datalogix, a targeting shop known for connecting offline purchases to online ads, some privacy advocates quickly raised the alarm. “Through the data it gathers on what we buy, and with its relationship with Facebook and other powerful marketers, Datalogix consists of a...