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New Consumer Watchdog Animation ‘Mr. Schmidt Goes to Washington’ Goes Street View With Mobile Advertising Van in D.C. to Call for Google Hearings

WASHINGTON Jan. 26, 2011 Washington Washington, D.C. Eric Schmidt

The avatar-style animation is being displayed on a mobile digital advertising truck equipped with stereo sound that will travel for one week across Capitol Hill, downtown, and busy District thoroughfares. The animation shows Google’s CEO testifying before Congress using real-life, creepy quotes from Schmidt about privacy to make the case for why Congress should question him.

Jamie Court

$5.2 million $4.03 million John M. Simpson

For three years, Google street view cars collected private information from Wi-Fi networks from millions of homes in 30 nations. The incident was the largest wire-tapping scandal in history yet Congress has not held a single hearing. Consumer Watchdog seeks to have Schmidt answer questions such as:

  • Why did Google gather data from the Wi-Fi networks?
  • What plans were there to use the data?
  • Who authorized the project and supervised it?
  • Who at Google has used, analyzed or otherwise accessed payload data and for what purpose?
  • If the data was collected "by accident," why did Google seek a patent on the process that was used to gather the data?
  • How can Google assure us this won’t happen again?
  • How many Americans’ private information was collected by Google?
  • What kind of information was collected? Emails, passwords, financial information, medical data, searches, videos? What else?

Darrell Issa

  • There is a cozy relationship with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that gives Google unique access to Moffett Field near Google’s headquarters, where a fleet of jets and helicopters stands ready to serve Google executives. The benefits of the arrangement to date appear to be nothing more than allowing Google executives a launch pad for corporate junkets documented in the report. Others, including a non-profit humanitarian group, have sought, but been denied, use of the airfield.
  • Google’s close ties with the Obama White House have raised concerns about possible special treatment or conflicts of interest at the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the Federal Communications Commission and NASA.
  • Officials at both DHS and the FCC have raised pointed concerns about weak privacy protections in Google products and whether Google’s well-documented difficulties with privacy protection could create big problems for federal agencies that use its services.
  • A secretive relationship with the National Security Agency. The search giant has a legitimate need to cooperate with the government’s mammoth and secretive code breaking agency in its efforts to defend the integrity of U.S. computer networks. But NSA also has legal power to force Google to hand over the private information of its users. How Google executives handle this potentially conflicted relationship is largely unknown: neither Google nor the NSA are talking.

Lost in the Cloud: Google and the U.S. Government,

In the animation, CEO Schmidt dons "Wi-Spy" glasses that allow him to see the personal details of the Senator questioning him.  The animation was donated by artists and consultants concerned about Google’s practices who want to remain anonymous. out of concern about retribution against them.

Consumer Watchdog has been working to protect consumers’ online privacy rights and educate them about the issues through its Inside Google Project. The goal has been to convince Google of the social and economic importance of giving consumers control over their online lives. By persuading Google, the Internet’s leading company, to adopt adequate guarantees, its policies could become the gold standard for privacy for the industry, potentially improving the performance of the entire online sector.

Consumer Watchdog Washington, D.C. Santa Monica, Ca. .

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

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