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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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News Release | ConnPIRG | Consumer Protection

ConnPIRG Hails General Assembly’s Passage of First-in-the-Nation Student Loan Bill of Rights, Open Source Pilot Program

In the last 36 hours of the legislative session, the General Assembly passed two ConnPIRG-backed pieces of legislation designed to make college more affordable. The Student Loan Bill of Rights will make Connecticut the first state in the nation to establish a student loan ombudsman to regulate student loan servicers and assist student borrowers and parents. The Open Source Textbook bill will establish a pilot program on the use of open-source textbooks, which can dramatically reduce the cost of course materials, at the University of Connecticut in collaboration with the Board of Regents of Higher Education.

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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 | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

PIRG Commends Supporters of Duckworth Amendment to Protect Our Troops From High-Cost Loans

Last night, on a 32-30 bipartisan vote, the House Armed Services Committee supported the Tammy Duckworth (IL) amendment to strike language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have delayed Pentagon-proposed improvements to the Military Lending Act of 2007. It's a critical victory for servicemembers, veterans and their families, although the fight to protect our troops from high-cost loans will continue.

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News Release | Financial Reform

New Legislation Would Protect Shareholders Rights

Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) has introduced a bill – the Shareholder Protection Act [H. R. 4537] – which requires shareholder approval of political spending, and today, the bill receives a hearing in the House Financial Services Committee.

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News Release | Transportation

Students Lead High-Speed Rail Tour Across Connecticut

HARTFORD- While many students are spending their Spring Breaks in Cancun or Palm Beach or other exotic locations, a dedicated group of ConnPIRG students are using their Spring Break to build support for the High-Speed Rail service between New Haven to Springfield, here in Connecticut. More than ten students are traveling the high speed rail route to draw attention and build support for the proposal. Today the students made their last stop in at the Capitol Building in Hartford, where they were joined by Speaker of the House Christopher Donovan and State Representative David McCluskey.

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News Release | Democracy, Financial Reform

Citizen United Solution Unveiled

Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Chris Van Hollen introduced a series of strong reforms in response to the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United ruling.

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Media Hit | Democracy

A Threat to Democracy

The U.S. Supreme Court's lamentable 5-4 decision last week to sweep away a century of practice and precedent and allow torrents of corporate money to flood elections threatens to make our political system even more the playground of the rich at the expense of the average citizen.

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Citizens United Opinion Widens Corporate "Personhood" Rights

Today’s Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission will significantly expand the role that the most powerful corporations play in election financing. In a shocking burst of judicial activism, the Supreme Court decided that corporations should be treated in the same manner as ordinary citizens and be allowed to spend the massive amounts of money they accumulate on direct attack ads for or against Members of Congress.

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Defend the CFPB

Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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