Postings

Advocates tackle data-driven discrimination
Big Data has the potential to create racial and social inequalities, and make existing discrimination even worse. While civil rights protections have existed in brick-and-mortar commerce for decades, they are largely missing from the internet economy. Online services should not be permitted to use consumer data to discriminate against protected classes or deny them opportunities in commerce, housing, employment, or full participation in our democracy.

The CREATES Act protects patients from outrageous prescription drug costs
When it comes to prescription medicines, patients win when companies innovate new cures and treatments. Patients also win when more affordable generic versions of those medicines enter the market. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers aren’t playing by the rules.

Protect consumers, not pyramid-scheme businesses
Consumer Action joined advocates in urging the co-sponsors of the 2018 Anti Pyramid Promotional Scheme Act to refrain from reintroducing the bill in the 116th Congress. If this bill were to become law, it would eliminate the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to take action against all but the most blatant pyramid schemes, leaving millions of consumers vulnerable to fraud.

How the government shutdown puts working families at risk
As the longest federal government shutdown in our nation’s history drags on, advocates raised concern as to how working families could potentially be harmed long after the government reopens its doors. Without a paycheck, federal employees fear losing their homes, consider risky financial loans in lieu of income, tax credits and refunds, and worry about the lasting impact that missed bill payments will have on their credit.

The time is now for comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation
Consumer and privacy organizations released a framework for comprehensive privacy protection and digital rights for members of the 116th Congress. In it, they stated that U.S. data privacy laws must be overhauled (without pre-empting state laws) and a new data privacy agency should be created to confront 21st century threats and address emerging concerns for digital customers.

Department of Education urged to extend loan discharge period for scammed students
In the wake of sudden closures of both Education Corporation of America (ECA) and Vatterott Education Holdings, advocates wrote to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to express concern that over 25,000 students are being given incomplete, incorrect, and harmful information about their options for closed school discharge and information on transfer options. Advocates recommend important steps the Department can take so that students can immediately explore their options and understand what resources might be available to them in the wake of their school’s closure, including extending the window to discharge their student loans.

More could be done by the CFPB to stop harassment from debt collectors
Nearly 75 advocate groups joined together in urging the new CFPB director, Kathy Kraninger, to implement stronger rules that protect the 71 million adults in the United States with debt from abusive and harassing debt collection practices.

Trump wants to use credit scores to keep immigrants out of the country
The Department of Homeland Security has issued a terrible proposal that intends to use immigrants’ personal credit information as part of the assessment to qualify for a green card or visa. Using an irrelevant, often error-prone, measure like a credit score to assign immigration status is not only absurd, it misuses credit information, and places financial stress and economic harm on families.

Kathy Kraninger is shockingly unqualified to lead the CFPB
Despite the nominee having no related experience or qualifications, the Senate voted in a lame duck session to confirm Kathy Kraninger as the next director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Advocates urged the Senate to oppose Kraninger for lack of finance, banking regulation, or consumer protection experience, as well as for her central role in administering the inhumane and un-American policy of separating thousands of children from their parents along the southwest border. Kraninger was later approved by Senate in a partisan 50-49 vote, with all Democrats opposing her nomination.

Groups renew call for no poison pill policy riders
Consumer Action is among nearly 50 groups renewing their call to keep spending measures free of poison pill policy riders. Unpopular, unnecessary, partisan provisions that get tacked on in secret have nothing to do with government funding and everything to do with undermining essential programs in order to fill a special interest wish list. Poison pill policy riders also stand in stark contrast to emergency needs that are going unmet, like guarding consumers from scams and corporate wrongdoing, securing our air, land, water and wildlife, and defending our campaign finance and election systems.

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