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News Story
4/4/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Earlier this week, Google’s public relations team sent around to reporters a story from Wired suggesting that Microsoft was behind the opposition to its sweeping settlement with book publishers and authors over its book scanning project. I covered a focal point of the opposition to the agreement, the concerns over Google’s virtually...
News Story
3/31/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, has pushed the patients' rights movement in the United States for more than a decade by sponsoring successful laws in California. As part of his work for the California-based nonprofit, Court is closely watching Google's and Microsoft's entry into the electronic medical records field. He spoke with The...
Blog Post
3/26/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
A security consultant has found more problems with Google Docs, a so called "cloud computing" application. The revelation by Robin Wauters on TechCrunch explains how Ade Barkah found that if you embed an image in a supposedly protected document and load it on Google's server, people you've not given access to the file can still download...
Blog Post
3/13/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
One of the editors of Adbusters magazine has a populist strategy to create an online revolt against Google's latest forray into targeted online advertising, a tactic that Congress Quarterly reports, from behind its subscription wall, caught the eye of federal lawmakers Wednesday. Google announced this week that it would target advertising to...
News Story
3/5/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Google Health has a new feature that lets users share medical information with others through an e-mail link. The company launched Google Health one year ago, to let registered users of the service store medical records online. The goal of the new "Share this profile," feature is to enable medical information to get to the right people...
News Story
3/4/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Google’s motto may be “Don’t do evil,” but a recent attempt to defund a non-profit critic, suggests that “See no evil” and “Hear no evil” might be appropriate as well. Add other actions that have raised the eyebrows of critics, and experts think that the company is tarnishing its brand. The recent...
Blog Post
3/2/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
In the face of criticism from privacy advocates, the White House website apparently has ended its ties to Google's YouTube video service. As revealed today by CNET blogger Chris Soghoian, the site now uses a "Flash-based video solution using Akamai's content delivery network." No cookies are set on a user's computer.  Cookies are...
News Story
2/27/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on February 26 that, from now on, the company will post proposed changes to its terms of service and other policies for member input. If more than 7,000 people comment, the policy will be put to a vote, and the result "will be binding, if more than 30 percent of all active registered users vote."...
Blog Post
2/27/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
Facebook has taken the unusual step of allowing 30% of its members to decide privacy policies.  CBS News and CNET's Larry Magid and I talked the change over in this interview late last night. The jujitsu by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerman is no doubt meant to counter a recent populist revolt against a change in Facebook's fine print that...
News Story
2/26/2009
Posted by Consumer Watchdog
(Semi-)Apology For Money-Snuffing Missive San Francisco, CA -- Google has attempted to cut the funding of a well-known public watchdog, after the organization launched a "guerrilla" attack on its Washington lobby operation. In a statement sent to The Register this morning, Google apologized for the incident. But it has yet to apologize...