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Blog Post | Financial Reform

The More I Hear About OPM Data Breach, The Less I Know, Except This: It's Bad | Ed Mierzwinski

Was it 4 million, 14 million or 18 million records breached (how many times) (likely) by Chinese hackers? Whose fault was it? The USOPM director says no one's. Really? Perhaps the worst data breach ever raises lots of questions, but I haven't heard any good answers. Federal employees, their families, their friends and their neighbors -- because all of them could be victims -- deserve better answers, just as they deserve better service than USOPM's credit monitoring provider is giving them.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Hill Threats to CFPB Escalate As CFPB Protects Consumers, Servicemembers | Ed Mierzwinski

Today, the House Appropriations Committee, at the behest of both Wall Street and predatory lenders seeking to run amok, will vote to eliminate the CFPB's independence from the politicized appropriations process. Meanwhile, over at the CFPB, important work to protect consumers, including servicemembers, from unfair and predatory financial practices continues.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Data Breach Here, Data Breach There, Data Breach Everywhere! | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED 10 June Re DHS Breach: If you shop with plastic, have health insurance, pay taxes, work for the federal government, or (fill in blank) you’re at risk of a data breach. And with so much information about you already available on the Internet, it’s best not to select easy-search security questions like “Where were you born?” or answers like “Pizza.” What’s your best defense against identity theft? No, it isn’t credit monitoring, it’s a security freeze.

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How Companies Turn Your Facebook Activity Into a Credit Score

This story in The Nation explains our work challenging the way data brokers use "black box," or secret, algorithms to make scoring decisions that may violate the law and deny credit opportunities. This work was also the subject of our recent livestream event featuring Professor Frank Pasquale and his new book, "The Black Box Society." We've now posted an archive of that event, in 3 chapters on our Youtube page.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Event 5/11 re new book on black box decisionmaking & consumers | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED TO CONFIRM CFPB Speaker. We are hosting an event Monday, 5/11, from 9am-noon ET to discuss a new book, The Black Box Society, with author Frank Pasquale. Click Keep Reading to RSVP to attend in person or to watch the livestream. While credit bureaus have long functioned as black box gatekeepers to opportunity, panelists will discuss the growing use of more and more, even less transparent black boxes to categorize consumers in the digital economy.

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News Release | Florida PIRG Education Fund | Democracy

Fraud, Failure No Deterrent to Federal Contract Awards

Companies with immediate past histories of shoddy work and fraudulent practices still receive billions of dollars in federal contracts, according to a new report by the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Consumer Protection

Florida's First Statewide Media-reform Conference to Be Held in Sarasota

Media watchers and alternative-media producers from across the state will meet in Sarasota Saturday, October 6, for a day of presentations, panels, and dialogues on media reform, particularly as it affects Floridians. The event will run from 9 to 6 and will be held on the campus of New College of Florida.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Consumer Protection

New Report Shows That Safer Technologies can Eliminate Chemical Hazards at Pulp and Paper Mills

Pulp and paper mills that use chlorine or chlorine dioxide to whiten paper needlessly endanger more than 5.7 million people, according to a new report released today by Florida PIRG.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Consumer Protection

Students Rally to Rescue Net Radio from Crippling Copyright Royalties

Today Students urged Congress to repeal stringent copyright royalty rates that could force Internet radio stations out of business and reduce opportunities for diverse musicians to promote their music, in a petition delivered by a coalition of media public interest groups the Florida Public Interest Research Group (Florida PIRG) and SaveNetRadio.

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News Release | Florida PIRG | Consumer Protection

AT&T Merger Concessions Send Strong Message to Congress: Protect Internet Freedom

Late Thursday night AT&T officials filed a letter of commitment to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) declaring their intent to follow Net Neutrality provisions and to offer unbundled and discounted DSL service in return for the approval of their $85 billion dollar merger with Bell South. 

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