Google Shows Little Interest In California Consumer Privacy Act At Shareholder Meeting

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Google Shows Little Interest In California Consumer Privacy Act At Shareholder Meeting

By Allan Maurer, WRAL TECH WIRE

June 6, 2018

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA –  Google executives today expressed little interest in supporting or compromising on the pending ballot measure entitled the California Consumer Privacy Act after Consumer Watchdog raised the issue with top executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc.’s annual shareholders meeting.

“Google executives must learn that it has to be part of crafting a legislative solution to online privacy problems or it is the problem,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog in a statement Wednesday.

“Last year Google batted away our open hand on amending the Communications Decency Act and its defiance led to a signature on that law by President Trump.  Google should reevaluate its intransigence on legislative privacy changes.”

Consumer Watchdog’s John M. Simpson, an Alphabet Inc. shareholder, asked for an explanation of Google’s opposition to the ballot initiative that, if passed in November, will give consumers more control over their personal information. He referenced the fact that Facebook and Verizon have pulled out of the coalition opposed to the measure.

“Since Google says it does not even sell data about you, why is the company opposing this privacy protecting ballot Initiative?” asked Simpson.

Kent Walker, Sr. Vice President and General Counsel of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, as he did at last year’s meeting, when answering a question about Congressional amendment to the Communications Decency Act, essentially defended the status quo.

A reasonable approach

“Google’s opposition makes no sense when Google claims they do not share or sell their users personal information. If this were truly the case, then Google would not have any reason to pour money into fighting an initiative that guarantees consumers basic privacy rights,” said Simpson.

Consumer Watchdog said the California Consumer Privacy Act is a reasonable approach to protecting privacy and in no way threatens legitimate Internet business models.

View a video of Simpson’s exchange with Alphabet and Google executives here:

Just last month, before Simpson had a chance to pose the question in person, Consumer Watchdog called upon Google, Verizon, Comcast and AT&T to follow Facebook’s lead and drop opposition to Privacy Ballot Initiative.  []

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