Annoyed by Google's revised stance on "net neutrality"? Pissed off by the company's power to collect personal data in applications like Buzz (which can show others who you Gmail the most) and Street View (which shows the locations of cars and faceless people)? Worried about the news that a Street View project gone awry mistakenly collected information from the Wi-Fi networks that Google's mapping vehicles cruised past? The activist group Consumer Watchdog feels your pain. And to spread the anti-Google message further, the group is running the video ad below on a 540 square foot video billboard in Times Square. The cartoon shows Google CEO Eric Schmidt giving children free ice cream, body-scanning them, and divulging their parents' secrets. Consumer Watchdog hopes the video will inspire viewers to pressure Congress to make a 'Do Not Track Me' list, similar to the existing 'Do Not Call List.' As Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog says in a press release:
"We’re satirizing Schmidt in the most highly-trafficked public square in the nation to make the public aware of how out of touch Schmidt and Google are when it comes to our privacy rights.... America needs a 'Do Not Track Me' list and Google is Exhibit A in the case for it."
Questioning Google's views on privacy, the group cites a statement from Schmidt where he said that children hoping to avoid their internet past might change their names, and an earlier Schmidt interview, where he said:
"If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place."
For an interesting look on privacy and the internet, check our DISCOVER's special 30th anniversary issue this October, in which MIT internet and society expert Sherry Turkle questions where we are headed in the next 30 years. Related content: Discoblog: Beware! Prolonged Internet Use May Cause Psychotic Episodes Discoblog: And the Survey Says: Google Is Not Making You Stupid8 0beats: Opinions: What Google and Verizon’s Plan for Net Neutrality Means 80beats: China Bans Electroshock Therapy For “Internet Addiction” 80beats: Have You Consumed Your 34-Gigabytes of Information Today