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News Story
4/7/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Google’s 6-week-old foray into video for preschoolers provides a seductive and seamless mix of kid-friendly fun and advertising, child advocates charged Tuesday as they called for a federal investigation of YouTube Kids. In a 12-page letter, 11 organizations that advocate for children and consumers asked the Federal Trade Commission to probe...
News Story
4/7/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
When YouTube Kids launched in February, Google heralded the app as “the first Google product built from the ground up with little ones in mind.” The Internet giant said its new app would make it safer and easier for young children to find family-friendly videos on their parents’ smartphones. But now 10 children’s and...
Blog Post
5/8/2014
Posted by John M. Simpson
The Federal Trade Commission has just settled a major privacy case with Snapchat, the developer of a popular messaging app.  Snapchat promised its users that pictures and videos, called "snaps" would quickly disappear after being viewed by the recipient. As the developer put it in its FAQs, according to the FTC: Is there any way...
News Story
8/2/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
"My guess is this is seen as either a starting point or just enough to placate the more vocal proponents of privacy protections," said developer Steven Bristol. "I'd say it's more to placate than anything else." Legislation to ensure consumer privacy is needed, he suggested, because "Americans aren't very good...
News Story
7/30/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
The US National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has released a draft code of conduct for mobile apps, which has been criticised by consumer groups. If the guidelines are adopted, app publishers will need to provide short form notices telling consumers whether their data is being collected and how it’s being used. The...
News Story
7/29/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
After a year, an effort by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to facilitate the development of a voluntary code of conduct on mobile privacy has resulted in what is viewed as an unfinished product that is moving into the testing phase with the support of several leading industry and consumer organizations. The process...
Blog Post
6/3/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
Google is apparently reacting to widespread concerns about one of the most privacy invasive and Orwellian potential applications for its computerized eyeglasses known as Google Glass. Late Friday the Internet giant said it won't -- for now -- allow facial recognition software on the device. Facial recognition software has pretty much been...
Blog Post
5/21/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
There's growing evidence that privacy is not a partisan issue. Representative Joe Barton, a conservative Republican from Texas, has signed on to be a co-sponsor of Rep. Hank Johnson's bill to increase consumer privacy protection on mobile devices. Barton is the co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, eight members of...
News Release
5/17/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog’s top-rated mobile application is now available on phones using the Android operating system, which will allow consumers to petition Congress for stronger online privacy laws on Google’s own platform, the group announced today. The app’s featured action is an email to US Senators in...
News Story
5/15/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Consumer Watchdog praised Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) for introducing a bi-partisan bill that would increase consumer privacy protection on mobile devices. According to a release, the bill, H.R. 1913, is known as the Application Privacy, Protection and Security (APPS) Act of 2013. Among its co-sponsors is Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH). The bill would...