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News Story
1/22/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Google’s spending on lobbying dropped in 2013, but it is still lavishing Washington with more money than any other tech company. The search giant spent $14.1 million to help influence lawmakers and regulators last year, according to data published on House.gov. That was down after its 2012 spending spiked to $16.5 million when the...
News Story
1/22/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Ten of the largest technology companies in the US spent more than $61 million lobbying Washington in 2013, according to an analysis of records filed by Consumer Watchdog earlier this week. The firms, including Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, used the money in attempts to guide the government's hand on issues such as privacy, data...
News Story
1/16/2014
Posted by Mark Reback
Most states have their own "security breach laws" requiring companies to notify consumers if their credit card numbers have been stolen The recent data breach at Target highlights the growing role of states in protecting people's online data and privacy. Attorneys general in Connecticut, Illinois and New York are leading a multistate...
Blog Post
11/15/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
Have you heard about the outstanding documentary film Terms and Conditions May Apply?  Directed by Cullen Hoback, it exposes what corporations and governments can learn about you based on how you use the Internet and your cell phone. There will be an online screening of the film, free to the first 3,000 viewers, this Sunday at 5 pm ET (2 pm...
News Story
10/23/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Search giant spent $3.4 million on lobbying US legislators last quarter, according to latest disclosures Google still leads consumer technology companies when it comes to lobbying legislators on Capitol Hill, but Facebook, Apple, and others are increasing their efforts. The search giant spent $3.4 million on lobbying in the third fiscal quarter of...
News Release
10/22/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC -- Google continued to lead tech firms in lobbying expenses during the third quarter, spending $3.4 million on its effort to buy influence with federal legislators and policymakers, according to disclosure forms just filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives. Facebook’s spending soared 47 percent to $1.4 million...
News Story
10/12/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Google has altered its Terms of Service to allow it to plaster users' names, photos and lots of other info all over relevant ads, a move that has privacy advocates up in arms. True, there are opt-out provisions, but essentially Google wants "to turn their users into unpaid pitchmen for advertisers," said Consumer Watchdog's John...
News Story
9/11/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Facebook, which has repeatedly tripped over its own feet when changing its privacy practices, has stumbled yet again. The Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday that it had begun an inquiry into whether the social network’s proposed new privacy policies, unveiled two weeks ago, violated a 2011 agreement with regulators. Under that...
News Story
9/11/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
The Federal Trade Commission is evaluating whether changes to two of Facebook’s key privacy policies adhere to a 2011 agreement between the agency and the social network. Facebook spokeswoman Jodi Seth confirmed that the FTC is evaluating Facebook’s policies.   “We routinely discuss policy updates with the FTC and this...
News Story
9/6/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Facebook's announcement late yesterday that it will delay the rollout of a revised privacy policy and data use agreement until next week comes on the heels of unified outcry from consumer rights groups. The updates were originally scheduled to go into effect September 5. When the social network announced the planned changes on August 29, six...