06 May 2013

My Son’s Life Is Worth More

Since 1975 the value of everything has gone up, except the value of my son’s life under California law. Last week my son, Steven and I went to Sacramento to say “38 years is too late.” We announced a ballot initiative to create stronger patient safety laws and adjust this

01 May 2013

Microsoft Should Act Now To Protect Online Privacy

Microsoft, which is trying to position itself in a major advertising campaign as a privacy friendly Internet company, should take a simple step that shows it means what it says. Online tracking is pervasive and invasive on the Internet. The most insidious is performed by companies that most consumers don’t

26 Apr 2013

Trifecta — Patient Safety, Pollution Prevention & Privacy

What a week! Three big victories in California will keep us safer from dangerous doctors, toxic polluters and privacy invasions, but we only got there thanks to your support. State Senator Curren Price and Assemblyman Richard Gordon proposed yesterday to strip the California Medical Board of its authority over physician

24 Apr 2013

Google Ending Privacy Breach Consumer Watchdog Targeted in FTC Complaint

Google apparently is ending an egregious privacy breach involving people who buy apps from its Google Play store using Google Wallet to pay. Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission with a copy to California Attorney General Kamala Harris about what Google was doing. The complaint alleged

22 Apr 2013

Earth Day, Earth Spin

It’s Earth Day. Here in California, state regulators are celebrating with their Keep California Beautiful Event that kicks off at the State Capitol followed by cleanup activities, like picking up litter and collecting e-waste, across the State. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that protects communities from toxic harm

19 Apr 2013

Google’s Income Tax Rate Was Only 8 Percent

Google, the company that makes its money by assembling digital dossiers about its users and selling them to advertisers for the highest bid, reported earnings Thursday. Revenue increased 31 percent to $13.97 billion and net income in the first quarter rose 16 percent to $3.35 billion, or $9.94 a share.

17 Apr 2013

EU’s Google Antitrust Deal Beats FTC, But Still Doesn’t Do Enough

Details of Google’s proposed settlement with the European Union to avoid antitrust charges have been leaking out of Brussels over the weekend. And while EU competition authorities appear to have accomplished more that the gentle tap on the wrist meted out by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the deal as

12 Apr 2013

Statehouse Responds: Threatens to Put Medical Board Out of Business

Last month, at an emotional in hearing in Sacramento and in a San Francisco Chronicle op-ed, we called for the state agency that oversees doctors to become a stronger regulator or to go out of business. The Legislature has to renew the doctor-run medical board every ten years, and that’s

10 Apr 2013

Lessons (Not) Learned From the Chevron Fire

On Friday, federal accident investigators told California legislators that the state’s patchwork of oil industry regulations needs a serious overhaul. The Chevron fire that produced a toxic cloud and sent 15,000 people to the hospital could have been prevented, but the system was reactive and not designed to foresee and

03 Apr 2013

Google May Face More Fines for Privacy Violations in Europe

Serial privacy violator Google may face fines in the millions of dollars in Europe as six countries Tuesday opened formal investigations into how Google combined its privacy and data policies last year without bothering to seek users’ consent. The actions by France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain came