Florida’s Privacy Bill Needs Teeth Back or It’s ‘Protections’ Are Meaningless

Lawmakers in Florida and around the country are considering bills to protect your privacy. We support these efforts and have been working to make sure these laws provide meaningful privacy protections. But a privacy law only works if it can be enforced. While government enforcement is essential, today’s scope of data collection is simply too … Continued

Public Policy Changes Needed During the COVID-19 Crisis

Check out CFA’s Brochure 1. Take Steps To Reduce The Spread Of The Disease Halting the spread of COVID-19 is a top priority, which must be front and center in any agenda to address the crisis. Create a comprehensive national paid sick leave policy. Lack of paid sick leave encourages tens of millions of workers, … Continued

California Poised to Protect Genetic Privacy

California is poised to lead the way again on privacy protection if Governor Gavin Newsom signs SB 41, a bill that requires direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing companies to obtain consumers’ permission before disclosing their genetic data to third parties and limits the ways this sensitive information can be used without their consent. As Consumer Federation … Continued

CFAnews Update – August 9, 2021

Groups Outline Airline Consumer Protection Priorities for DOT Consumer organizations, including CFA, called on the Department of Transportation (DOT) to make airline consumer protection a priority in a July meeting with Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. At the meeting, the groups presented the Secretary with a list of airline consumer protection priorities. “The Department of Transportation … Continued

Is Financing that Big-Screen TV the Right Choice for Consumers?

One of the interesting issues that came up in our annual survey about complaints to state and local consumer agencies is the increasing availability of point-of-sale financing for items such as furniture and appliances. These credit arrangements, which are often offered by online financial service or “Fintech” companies in partnership with retailers, can be helpful … Continued

Giving Airline Consumer Protection Advocates a Fair Hearing (Finally!)

Earlier this week representatives of Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, Consumer Reports, the Business Travelers Coalition, Flyers Rights, the National Consumers League, TravelFairnessNow, and Travelers United met virtually with Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). After the last four years in the wilderness, during which there was little action to … Continued

CFAnews Update – July 15, 2021

President Signs Bipartisan Repeal of Anti-Consumer “Fake Lender” Rule  On June 30, President Biden signed S.J. Res. 15 into law, repealing the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC’s) “fake lender” rule and delivering a major victory in the fight to end high-cost, predatory lending. The fake lender rule allowed lenders to evade state … Continued

Campaign Launched to Ban Facial Recognition in Stores

Consumer Federation of America has joined more than 35 consumer, privacy and civil rights groups in a campaign to ban the use of facial recognition technology in stores, restaurants and other retail establishments. As the website created by campaign coordinator Fight for the Future explains, facial recognition can be used unfairly – and in some … Continued

Celebrate Freedom This Fourth of July, and Have Your Burger Well Done

Growing up in South Carolina, Independence Day was fraught with danger. Most years we spent the holiday at my Aunt Debbie’s timeshare condo in Myrtle Beach. The condo was on a golf course, and my brothers and I spent the days scavenging balls from the ponds and dodging errant shots from our would-be customers. We … Continued

CFAnews Update – June 29, 2021

Groups Support the Used Car Safety Recall Repair Act CFA has joined with 14 other public interest, legal services, financial reform, and safety organizations in supporting legislation to place regulations on car dealers who fail to complete free repairs to fix deadly safety recall defects before selling used cars to used car buyers at retail. … Continued

Not Ready to Eat Gmo Animals? Then You Might Not Want to Order the Salmon

Recently, I did something I had not done in a long time. I ate in a restaurant with my family. Actually, we ate on the outdoor patio, since my kids are too young to be vaccinated and we are somewhat more squeamish than average about COVID, but it was nevertheless a refreshing return to normality … Continued

CFAnews Update – May 28, 2021

Senate Votes to Overturn “Fake Lender” Rule With a 52-47 bipartisan vote in the Senate earlier this month, Congress moved one step closer to over-turning the Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s anti-consumer “fake lender” rule, which allows predatory lenders to evade state interest rate laws simply by putting a bank’s name on the paperwork. … Continued

CFAnews Update – May 3, 2021

AGs Call for Repeal of OCC’s “True Lender” Rule A bipartisan group of 25 state Attorneys General sent a letter to congressional leadership last month urging Congress to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to rescind the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s “true lender” rule in order to “safeguard states’ fundamental sovereign rights … Continued

Florida’s Privacy Bill Needs Teeth Back or It’s ‘Protections’ Are Meaningless

Lawmakers in Florida and around the country are considering bills to protect your privacy. We support these efforts and have been working to make sure these laws provide meaningful privacy protections. But a privacy law only works if it can be enforced. While government enforcement is essential, today’s scope of data collection is simply too … Continued

CFAnews Update – April 16, 2021

Anti-Consumer Financial Rules Face CRA Challenge Just days before the April deadline for Congressional Review Act challenges, members of Congress filed resolutions to overturn two harmful financial regulations adopted at the end of the previous administration – the Office of Comptroller of the Currency’s (OCC) “true lender” rule and amendments to the rules governing shareholder … Continued

When the Truth is Misleading

When are literally truthful claims nevertheless misleading? One example is the subject of a recent letter that CFA and the Center for Science in the Public Interest sent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The letter asks FDA to enforce deceptive advertising rules against Molson Coors for its Vizzy advertising campaign. Vizzy is a … Continued

It’s Time to Ban Surveillance Advertising

Consumer Federation of America has joined a broad coalition of consumer, privacy, civil rights, and anti-monopoly groups in a campaign to ban “surveillance advertising.” This is the practice of tracking and profiling individuals and groups, and then targeting them for ads based on their behavior, relationships, and other personal information. We’ve long been concerned about … Continued

CFAnews Update – March 22, 2021

Risks from SPAC Mania Demand Policy Response SPACs, or Special Purpose Acquisition Companies, have boomed in recent years, with offerings reaching an all-time high of $83 billion in 2020 and with even more in the pipeline for 2021. According to investor advocates, however, this growing way for companies to go public “represents attempts by sponsors … Continued

CFAnews Update – February 25, 2021

Groups Urge USDA to Take Action on Poultry Pathogens Consumer Federation of America, along with partner groups Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Reports, and members of Stop Foodborne Illness, submitted a petition to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) calling for the agency to develop enforceable standards to reduce foodborne infections caused … Continued

New DOT Rule Undermines Airline Consumer Protections

In a Feb. 5 op-ed, David Heffernan, a former outside counsel for Airlines for America, the airlines’ lobbying organization in Washington, and Robert Kneisley, a former associate general counsel for Southwest Airlines, took pains to defend an anti-consumer policy that was stealthily released the day after Thanksgiving in the waning days of former U.S. Transportation Secretary … Continued

We Need Real Privacy Protection in the States, not the Washington Privacy Act’s Illusion of Privacy

Consumer Federation of America strongly supports states’ efforts to protect their residents’ privacy. Unfortunately, we find ourselves once again opposing the Washington Privacy Act (SB 5062), a bill supported by major tech companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and Google. It’s based on the outdated “notice and opt-out” framework that underpins the current system of commercial … Continued

CFAnews Update – January 27, 2021

Consumer Champions Chosen for Two Key Financial Regulatory Posts On the eve of Inauguration, the Biden-Harris Transition Team announced that it had selected leading consumer champions – Rohit Chopra and Gary Gensler – to head two key financial regulatory agencies, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) respectively. Both … Continued

Amazon’s “Dark Patterns” & How They Keep You From Cancelling Prime

If you’ve ever had trouble cancelling an online service, you may be interested in a study the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) recently conducted that documents the sophisticated methods Amazon uses to keep consumers who signed up for free trials of Prime from leaving. Apparently the process is the same when consumers try to cancel their regular Prime … Continued