Consumer Action and Google collaborate on technology events

Published: Monday, November 05, 2012

Consumer Action has joined Google to educate local leaders of community-based organizations about technology tools to help nonprofits increase the impact of their work and how they can educate members of their communities about being smart and safe online.

The partners held an Oct. 10 briefing at Google’s Washington, DC offices, attended by 40 representatives of non-profit and community based organizations from the Metro DC area.

At the briefing, Consumer Action’s Michelle De Mooy discussed emerging privacy issues of interest to non-profit agencies that provide consumer education and assistance. Linda Sherry of Consumer Action reviewed the organization’s train-the-trainer resources and free multilingual consumer education materials. Each group received a copy of Consumer Action’s newly updated “How to Complain” guide.

Google staff members spoke about the company’s free technology tools for nonprofits. Paul Lee, Senior Product Manager, Google for Nonprofits (G4NP), provided an overview of Google’s AdWords Grants, which provide eligible nonprofits with $10,000 per month in free online advertising. Hector Mujica, Social Responsibility Associate at Google, explained how non-profits could use free Google Docs for collaboration and efficiency. David Lieber, Google Policy Counsel and Erica Swanson, Policy Outreach Manager at Google reviewed the company’s Good To Know campaign and resources, designed to help Google product users choose how to control personal information.

DeMooy told participants about the work she has been doing with “software engineers and developers, the people behind a lot of the cool apps and websites we’re seeing now. For me, it’s important to talk directly to the people who are making the products we policy wonks are talking about all the time.”

After one meeting, De Mooy said she was asked by a mobile app developer, “What do you think is the single most effective way for consumers to protect their personal information on a mobile device?”

De Mooy asked participants at the briefing, “Anyone want to take a guess what the answer was?” Only a few called out the right answer: Protect your phone with a password lock. “My point is that sometimes privacy solutions are complicated but sometimes they are very simple,” said De Mooy.

Sue Rogan of the Maryland CASH Campaign attended the briefing. Rogan said she had expanded her knowledge of Consumer Action's free education tools and training services for community-based organizations. “Your tools and training services are awesome! I use them all the time,” said Rogan.

In 2013, Consumer Action will collaborate with Google on two Web-based briefings for its community partners. The briefings will be presented via Google’s Hangouts on Air. The briefings will be held live and saved to YouTube, where they can be watched anytime.

 

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