2010/09/03

Video lambasting Google on privacy hits Times Square

SAN FRANCISCO, September  3, 2010 (AFP) - A video cartoon featuring Google's chief giving away ice cream to snoop on children aired on a giant screen in Times Square on Thursday as a privacy group continued to hound the Internet giant.

Consumer Watchdog took its gripes with Google to the center of Manhattan, where it paid to have a "Don't be evil?" animated clip shown on a "Jumbotron" screen above the masses coursing through Times Square.

A cartoon version of Google chief executive Eric Schmidt was shown cruising a residential neighborhood in an ice cream truck, spying on children and disclosing their parents' Internet browsing habits.

"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," said Watchdog president Jamie Court.

The snippet displayed as an advertisement in Times Square was from a video clip posted online at insidegoogle.com, a website run by Watchdog.

"We like ice cream as much as anyone, but we like privacy even more," Google said in response to an AFP inquiry regarding the video.
"That's why we provide tools for users to control their privacy online, like Google Dashboard, Ads Preference Manager, Chrome incognito mode and 'off the record' Gmail chat."

The California-based Internet titan said that information about its privacy tools can be found online at google.com/privacy.