Consumer 'Watchdog' Anti-Google Video Just Part Of A Stunt To Sell Books?

from the who's-watching-those-consumers dept

There was all sorts of news coverage recently about the group Consumer Watchdog creating a video that mocked Google's Eric Schmidt for not caring about your privacy -- though, which did so by getting all sorts of basic facts wrong and while relying on the "evil" Google Analytics for its own site (though, the group claims it's been trying to get rid of it, and has tried to spin the story into a claim that shows "how hard it is to escape Google on the Internet." Actually, it's not that hard at all. The whole thing seemed pretty silly, and clearly a stupid promotional stunt.

It seems that folks associated with Consumer Watchdog's Jamie Court are perfectly willing to admit that the whole thing is a crass stunt to help Jamie sell more of his new book. They've sent over a letter to us, hyping up Court's book, offering to send us a copy, and linking the recently released book to the "stunt" in Times Square, which they blatantly admit was a stunt. So, now, who's going to watch over Consumer Watchdog to make sure it's not engaged in questionable motives in its own activities? I'm all for people actually looking out for consumer rights, but sometimes I wonder who appointed these folks as our "watchdogs?"

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  • identicon
    Jon, 16 Sep 2010 @ 3:18pm

    They are no consumer group and not a non-profit, they are hired astroturfers from 'Grassroots Enterprises'.
    There are some rumors that they are indirectly funded by Microsoft maybe also AT&T.
    They have no other initiatives that making Google look bad, they were the same group asking for a Google split-up back in April, and the same group that collected WiFi payload data near politician's residence to "highlight" the street view incident.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Mark, 16 Sep 2010 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      You are lying through your teeth, "Jon"! Consumer Watchdog is most definitely a non-profit, not hired by anyone, not funded by Microsoft or AT&T, and we have plenty of other initiatives, like taking on unscrupulous health insurance corporations, auto/home insurance corporations, and corrupt politicians. Do some research that isn't biased by your pro-Google views, you hack!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 16 Sep 2010 @ 3:58pm

        Re: Re:

        Then how do you explain the fact that your 'initiatives' are basically conspiratorial nonsense and childish, ill-informed personal attacks?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Forge, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:00pm

        Re: Re:

        "we have plenty of other initiatives"!

        We also troll Slashdot and Techdirt, watching for people slandering our good name! We then jump on with lots of near ad hominem attacks and vague information about other campaigns!

        If you want trust, give trust. If you expect us to believe you are motivated solely by what is right, and that you are watchdogs and not attack dogs, OPEN YOUR FINANCIAL RECORDS. Show us who pays the bills. Show us how your decisions on what campaigns to pursue are divorced fully from your financial matters. Won't do that? Gosh, color me surprised.

        NEXT TROLL!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        nonanonymous, 16 Sep 2010 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re:

        we have plenty of other initiatives, like taking on unscrupulous health insurance corporations, auto/home insurance corporations, and corrupt politicians. Do some research that isn't biased by your pro-Google views, you hack!

        Nice "defense", too bad that you might be just a tiny bit biased since you are part of the company yourself. What's your cut of the book sales?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Logan, 16 Sep 2010 @ 3:27pm

    Obviously

    That's why I have to reboot my windows machine once a month on patch Tuesday, but I can patch the kernel on my linux box with zero downtime. Maybe if MS spent a little more time innovating and a little less time bullshitting, I could have a reason other than gaming for even still owning a Windows box.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SmackDown, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:28pm

      Re: Obviously

      Your obviously full of it. Rarely do I have to reboot on patch Tuesday. And despite your garbage and inaccurate statements, I need to do the same thing periodically for Linux - unlike you I use both.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TacoSlurpeeDoubleCheese, 16 Sep 2010 @ 3:58pm

    Consumer Watch Dog

    They are a semi-decent organization. One of their lawyers represented me during a deposition for a Class action lawsuit against Directv. Funded by Microsoft? me thinks not. AT&T me thinks not. Looking out for consumers rights. You Bet! Doing some bone headed things along the way to drum up consumer knowledge about their organization and sell some books. Absolutely!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CrushU, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:01pm

    Appropriate?

    IGNORE THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:10pm

    Wired piece worth reading.

    "They hold onto search and other profile data for too long, and their “anonymization” of the data after 18 months could be easily reversed. They still turn on the creepy “Web History” by default for all account holders, which is an egregious privacy choice (however, this ‘feature’ only records your searches and the places you visit from a search result page, unless you use the Google Toolbar in your browser, which records everything when ‘Web History’ is enabled.).

    The WiFi sniffing snafu was an embarrassment, even if experts agree there wasn’t anything useful to be snared in a quick-drive-by-packet-sniff. I agree with the EFF’s analysis by the wickedly smart attorney Jennifer Granick, which boiled down to “This was too stupid a move to be repeated by Google”.

    Allowing its venture capital arm to pair investments with the CIA’s VC group was bone headed, while turning to the NSA for help when it got hacked is a PR nightmare. Likewise, its drive to land big, secretive search contracts with the feds is also short-sighted — the revenue will be tiny compared to AdWords."

    Those who deny it's a spy agency please note the last paragraph.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:16pm

      Re: Wired piece worth reading.

      That piece was called "In defense of Google" link to the whole article, don't take that stuff out of context.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        out_of_the_blue, 16 Sep 2010 @ 5:27pm

        Re: Re: Wired piece worth reading.

        Yes, I thought many, and perhaps Mike, wouldn't read beyond the title. You probably think the "Patriot Act" is pro-patriot.

        Facts are facts, and they're in context.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    mer2329, 16 Sep 2010 @ 4:43pm

    opt out

    there is a way to opt out of analytics via the analytics opt out add-on fo Firefox, IE, Chrome
    http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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