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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 | RIPIRG | Consumer Protection

Statement at Sears Stove Tip-Over Lawsuit Settlement News Teleconference

Statement of Ed Mierzwinski, U.S.PIRG Consumer Program Director, at the Sears Stove Tip-Over Lawsuit Settlement News Teleconference

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News Release | RIPIRG | Consumer Protection

Chemical Security Legislation Must Include Safer Technologies

Statement of U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate Liz Hitchcock: A subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee marked up the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Act of 2008 today. 

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News Release | RIPIRG | Health Care

Congress Passes Prescription Drug Safety Reforms

By overwhelming margins, the House and Senate passed this week significant reforms to the Food and Drug Administration’s drug safety review system. The centerpiece of the bill includes strong consumer protections.  President Bush has sent mixed signals on whether or not he will sign the bill, which passed the House 405 to 7 and passed the Senate unanimously.

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News Release | RIPIRG | Health Care

House Passes Prescription Drug Safety Reforms; Senate to Follow

The House today passed significant reforms to the Food and Drug Administration's drug safety review system. Part of a comprehensive FDA bill, the bill was a compromise between Senate and House legislation that passed overwhelmingly earlier this year.

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News Release | RIPIRG | Health Care

House Passes Drug Safety Legislation

Consumers scored a victory today over the powerful pharmaceutical industry when the House voted 403 to 16 to pass drug safety legislation as part of a comprehensive Food and Drug Administration reform bill.

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