Consumer Protection

FTC Supports Do Not Track, Meekly

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released today a new report calling on Internet companies to put in place a "Do Not Track" system that would give consumers more control over their personal data online by the end of the year . The FTC also called on Congress to pass privacy legislation that would allow consumers to see how their online data is collected, used and sold, and give consumers the ability to stop such practices. 
 

CFPB launches new consumer Q&A resource page

By | Jon Fox
Consumer Advocate

The CFPB launches a new interactive online tool that helps consumers find answers to their basic financial questions.

Paying Taxes, Safe and Sound

By | Jon Fox
Consumer Advocate

With less than a month left to “Tax Day”, that special time of year when taxes are due, CALPIRG releases a new Questions & Answer guide to paying taxes.

In the 175 days that the U.S. House of Representatives was in session during 2011, it passed more than 190 anti-regulatory bills. Congress put profits over public safety and they are still at it.

50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

I've got a new column at Huffington Post, "50 Years Ago This Week, JFK Ushered in Modern Consumer Protection Era." I discuss President Kennedy's visionary "Special Message to the Congress on Protecting the Consumer Interest" announced on March 15, 1962. He declared that consumers have rights and government should protect them. Read the full column after the jump.

FTC Releases Top Complaints for 2011, Identity Theft Tops the List

By | Jon Fox
Consumer Advocate

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its list of top consumer complaints received by the agency in 2011. Unsurprisingly, identity theft complaints topped the list.

As web giants amass more and more information about consumers for behavioral targeting and even "social discrimination" -- which can include differential pricing for the same product or the use of web tracking data and falsely-flagged websites to promote certain brandname drug use -- the White House has called for a privacy bill of rights. Companies and powerful industry lobbies seeking to keep those rights weak simultaneously rolled out their own "Do Not Track Us Sometimes" button.

AP: Mobile applications to post privacy policies before installation under California agreement

“Having privacy policies is step one to protecting consumers’ personal information,” Jon Fox said in a statement. “Step two is making sure the privacy policies are strong.”

News Release | CALPIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

AG Announces New Rules to Improve Online Privacy Protections for Consumers

“Having a written privacy policy will force developers to think about the privacy impacts of their products,” said Jon Fox. “Hopefully this will give mobile users  more control over who accesses their personal information and how it’s used, creating a safer online environment.”

At a news conference in NYC today, Director Richard Cordray of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) will announce a major investigation of bank overdraft fee practices and propose a model "penalty box" disclosure to appear on bank statements. The investigation could end the $39 latte-- $4 bucks for the coffee, $35 for the debit card overdraft fee.

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