Consumer Watchdog took its crusade against Google to new heights Thursday, running ads in New York's Times Square blasting CEO Eric Schmidt on privacy issues.
The group's Inside Google site produced two videos (hosted on YouTube, of course) depicting Schmidt as a creepy maniacal ice-cream truck driver handing out free ice cream to children while conducting full body scans in order to absorb private information through "Google Analytics." They sort of have to be seen to be believed.
A shorter version of the video will run 36 times a day for an unspecified length of time in order to promote Consumer Watchdog's campaign for a national "Do Not Track Me" list, similar to the Do Not Call list managed by the Federal Trade Commission. In singling out Google, Consumer Watchdog highlighted Schmidt's comments to CNBC last year on privacy as well as a more recent report that he advocated giving young people the right to change their names to restore their reputations.
Consumer Watchdog was given a $100,000 grant by the Rose Foundation in 2008 to monitor Google, but it has not disclosed any additional sources of funding since then. The group is known as an extremely vocal critic of the search giant, going as far as to sniff the personal home wireless network of a member of Congress earlier this year to point out how easy it was for Google to accumulate data during its Wi-Fi spying debacle.