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News Release
11/18/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA. – Google’s $17 million settlement with states attorneys general demonstrates the Internet giant’s business strategy of doing whatever it wants and then buying its way out of trouble when caught breaking the rules, Consumer Watchdog said today. “Google hacked around the privacy settings on Apple’s...
News Release
9/19/2013
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Sacramento, CA – Now-hidden payments to political bloggers will have to be disclosed if the Fair Political Practices Commission approves a proposed regulation to increase campaign transparency today. The rule would require campaign committees to disclose any amount paid to a blogger or other commenter that posts an opinion online, and where...
News Release
9/10/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – A federal appeals court ruled today that Google’s interception of messages from private Wi-Fi networks is not exempt from federal wiretap laws, opening the way for a class action suit in the Wi-Spy case to move forward with possible damages amounting to billions of dollars. A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of...
News Release
9/5/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC – A coalition of six consumer privacy groups is calling on the Federal Trade Commission to enforce an earlier consent order with Facebook and block proposed changes in the social network’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and its Data Use Policy because the proposed changes violate the 2011 settlement with the...
Video
9/4/2013
Google argues for right to continue scanning Gmail, but consumer advocates claim it is an invasion of privacy.
Blog Post
6/24/2013
By John M. Simpson
Less than two weeks ago after Google said it was buying Waze, developer of a mobile mapping application, for a reported $1.1 billion, the Federal Trade Commission has stepped in and said in effect, "wait just a minute here." Word of the FTC's antitrust investigation was originally reported over the weekend by the New York Post and...
News Release
6/19/2013
CONTACT Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today praised Mozilla as the nonprofit foundation announced it would move forward with addition of a setting in its popular Firefox browser to block the most intrusive tracking “cookies” by default.    Cookies are little bits of computer code that can be placed on a browser so that...
News Release
6/12/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC – Consumer Watchdog today called on federal regulators to block Google’s proposed $1 billion acquisition of Waze, developers of a mobile mapping application, on antitrust grounds.   The nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group made the case against the deal in letters to both the Department of Justice and the...
News Release
5/9/2013
CONTACT John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON – Consumer Watchdog today praised Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) for introducing a bi-partisan bill that would increase consumer privacy protection on mobile devices.   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...
Blog Post
4/23/2013
By John M. Simpson
Google apparently is ending an egregious privacy breach involving people who buy apps from its Google Play store using Google Wallet to pay. Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission with a copy to California Attorney General Kamala Harris about what Google was doing. The complaint  alleged that the Internet giant...