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Do Not Track

News Story
8/12/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Disclosure: Larry Magid is CEO of ConnectSafely.org, a nonprofit Internet safety organization that receives contributions from Google and other tech companies.     I was stunned when I first learned that Google was reorganizing itself with the new corporate name Alphabet that would serve as a holding company of sorts for all of...
News Release
8/10/2015
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Google’s announcement today that it is creating a new holding company called “Alphabet” changes nothing about the company’s impact and challenges it poses for consumers, the nonprofit public interest group Consumer Watchdog said. “A rose by any other name is still a rose and Google by any...
News Story
7/13/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Facebook’s handling of your headshot is now the subject of class action lawsuits that pose the question: When someone turns your mug into data, are those digits theirs or yours? Surveillance: Facebook and the prices you pay Facebook knows a lot about your habits and desires, and this could someday affect how much you pay for goods and...
News Story
6/28/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
It has been a quiet first two weeks for net neutrality. While the Federal Communications Commission’s new rules governing Internet providers like utilities are now in effect, consumers are unlikely to have noticed. And so far, just a single complaint has been filed against an Internet provider for violating the net neutrality order’...
News Story
6/19/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
SACRAMENTO — The Santa Monica-based group Consumer Watchdog petitioned the Federal Communications Commission this week for rules that would force companies such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to comply with do-not-track requests sent by web surfers' browsers. Such efforts haven't gone far in the past. California dabbled with...
News Story
6/17/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Facial recognition continues to be a hot-potato topic for consumer advocates, who want stringent rules around how such data can be collected and used. Its use in commercial settings—for recognizing returning shoppers, for instance, to serve them targeted messaging—has kicked off privacy concerns on several fronts. The effort to build...
News Story
6/16/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
SAN FRANCISCO—Consumer groups that believe companies like Facebook need to get individuals' permission before their images can be identified using increasingly advanced facial recognition technology have abandoned talks to create a voluntary code of conduct for the controversial software. "This isn't just your anonymous online...
News Story
6/16/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Retailers have the ability to scan your face digitally, and use that identification to offer you special prices or even recognize you as a prior shoplifter. But should they use it? Should they get your permission first? Privacy advocates announced Tuesday they have walked away from a government-run effort with industry...
News Story
6/16/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A central component of President Obama’s effort to give consumers more control over how companies collect and share their most sensitive personal details has run aground. Nine civil liberties and consumer advocate groups announced early Tuesday morning that they were withdrawing from talks with trade associations over how to write guidelines...
News Story
6/16/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
A group of privacy and consumer advocates has pulled the plug after 16 months of negotiations with the data industry over standards limiting the use of consumers' "faceprints" -- facial recognition data that the advocates say are far too sensitive to be governed by anything less than a strict "opt in" standard. The...