Google, Oracle Of Transparency, Gets Caught By Transparency; Consumer Watchdog Says Earnings Report Glitch Should Be Wake Up Call For Online Privacy

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SANTA MONICA, CA — Consumer Watchdog urged the founders of Google to take today's early leak of financial information — which caused Google to ask to suspend trading in its stock — as a wake up call for the billionaire executives and prompt them to support giving Google users the right to suspend trading in their own private information.

Google’s disappointing third quarter results were posted by a contractor to the Securities and Exchange Commission before Google intended.  The stock plunged nearly 10 percent and Google asked for trading to be suspended.

“Now CEO Larry Page really knows what it’s like to have your private data made public before you wanted it out there,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director. “He ought to think long and hard about that, because his company violates the privacy of millions of its users daily.”

Google’s entire business model is based on amassing digital dossiers about its users and selling ads against them. You are Google’s product, not its customer, Consumer Watchdog noted.

"Google users don't have the right to say no to disclosure of their information. They cannot stop the trading of such information, the way Google asked to suspend trading its stock,” said Simpson.

Google says its mission is to organize the world’s information and make it accessible, Consumer Watchdog said.

“The oracle of transparency should take heed of what it means to be bitten by information you don't yet want public,” Simpson said. “Google's founders should now know what it feels like to have private information become public and give all users the right to suspend public trading of the their data through a meaningful Do Not Track Option.”

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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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