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Blog Post
12/21/2011
By John M. Simpson
Facebook executives may finally be getting the message that they can't continue to ride rough shod over the privacy rights of the social network's uses. The Irish Data Commission announced Wednesday that Facebook has agreed to change its policies to improve transparency and better protect data of its users.  The agreement has...
Blog Post
11/18/2011
By Moira Dhaliwal
Let’s set the scene: It’s a typical day. While there is always work to be done, you are taking a moment to browse the web. You stumble across your favorite websites, perhaps you tweet about an interesting story, or you press the Facebook "Like" button on a cool page. Then you click on an ad because, “Hey, that looks...
News Release
10/11/2011
CONTACT John M. Simpson & Carmen Balber
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Watchdog called online industry claims that consumers' personal privacy is protected when they surf the Web to be meaningless in light of a study released today by Stanford University's Computer Security Laboratory. The research was released at a forum discussing digital data collection sponsored by a...
News Release
9/29/2011
CONTACT John M. Simpson, Laura Antonini & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA -- Consumer Watchdog today joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and other privacy groups in asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook for allegedly tracking users after they have logged out of Facebook and for its new features associated with “Frictionless Sharing.” The groups...
Blog Post
8/23/2011
By John M. Simpson
Facebook apparently is beginning to understand that users of the social networking site care about their privacy and would like simple control over who can read which posts.  It took long enough, but new privacy controls announced Tuesday give users much clearer options. Whether the move is a response to the more friendly privacy controls...
Blog Post
8/9/2011
By John M. Simpson
One of the dangers of using public Wi-Fi networks at coffee shops and the like is that anybody else on the network can read your email, Facebook postings, search requests and easily hack into your account unless the data is encrypted. The most common is SSL encryption using the HTTPS protocol.  If you use it, transmissions between your...
News Release
7/21/2011
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA -- Google and Facebook pumped record amounts into their lobbying efforts during the second quarter, according to just filed disclosure reports. Google's spending soared to $2.06 million, a 54 percent increase from the same period a year ago. Facebook spent $320,000 -- nearly as much as its total lobbying expenses for all of...
Blog Post
7/18/2011
By John M. Simpson
Lobbying expenditure reports are due to be filed with the the Senate Office of Public Records Wednesday and you can expect record expenditures from both Facebook and Google. Driven by an antitrust probe, Google could even outspend Microsoft in it's arm-twisting campaign. Our friends at the Center for Responsive Politics' OpenSecrets....
News Release
7/6/2011
CONTACT John M. Simpson, Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Facebook has revised terms for game developers using its “virtual money,” Facebook Credits, changing one blatant anticompetitive provision in the wake of an antitrust complaint from Consumer Watchdog, but Federal Trade Commission Intervention is still necessary, the nonpartisan, nonprofit group said today....
Blog Post
6/29/2011
By Jamie Court
If Facebook's new facial recognition software isn't scary enough, imagine Mark Zuckerberg's face replacing George Washington's on the dollar bill. Or rubbing out all the dead presidents on every bit of American currency. July 4th may be Independence Day for America, but on July 1st Facebook is making a declaration about...