Coalition Efforts

Consumer Action is working on these important issues along with other organizations. If you would like to know more about these issues, please see “More Information” at the end of each article.

 

Postings

Stop the onslaught of annoying robocalls
Consumer Action signed on to support public testimony to the U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee On Communications and Technology regarding potential legislative solutions to the rampant problem of illegal scam and spoofed robocalls.

Personal data has potential to fuel discrimination
26 civil society organizations sent a letter to Congress calling on legislators to ensure that any federal privacy legislation addresses the discriminatory impacts of commercial data practices and protects people of color, women, religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, persons with disabilities, persons living on low income, immigrants, and other vulnerable populations.

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 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.

Advocates set the bar for upcoming discussion on privacy legislation
34 civil rights, consumer, and privacy organizations join in releasing public interest principles for privacy legislation, because the public needs and deserves strong and comprehensive federal legislation to protect their privacy and afford meaningful redress. The set of principles provides the bare minimum privacy protections advocates want codified in any comprehensive data privacy bill Congress considers.

Strong, meaningful, and comprehensive privacy principles are needed to protect consumers
In comments submitted to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), advocates offered suggested improvements to NTIA’s data privacy policy recommendations for the Trump Administration. The current proposal, with its risk-management rather than rights-based approach, does not provide an acceptable roadmap for the kind of privacy protection that Americans need.

The FCC can do more to stop annoying, and illegal, robocalls
Nearly a year ago, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved rules to allow phone companies to block specific categories of clearly illegally spoofed calls. However, no visible progress has been made to actually reduce the volume of unwanted calls. A lack of law enforcement recourse around illegal robocalls has prompted consumer advocates to ask the FCC to do more.

If companies can protect user data in Europe, they can protect it everywhere
Consumer Action joined 27 groups in calling on some of the world’s largest companies – including Facebook, Google and Amazon, as well as digital advertisers like Nestle, Walmart and JPMorgan Chase – to use Europe’s impending General Data Protection Regulation regime as a baseline standard worldwide for all of their services, including in the U.S.

Google and YouTube are invading children's privacy
Consumer Action joined 23 consumer and privacy groups in taking a major step to protect children’s privacy by filing a Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaint detailing how Google is collecting personal data from children on YouTube without parental consent. The coalition asked the FTC to hold Google accountable for violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The groups charge that the company collected and profited from the data of millions of children without parental permission.

Facebook’s facial recognition violates consumers’ privacy
Consumer Action joined the Electronic Privacy Information Center and other consumer and privacy advocates in filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission regarding Facebook’s use of facial recognition software. The Facebook feature identifies people uploaded in users’ photos by suggesting the names of “friends” it recognizes. This practice of scanning and collecting biometric facial matches is deceptive and ignores the explicit privacy preferences of many Facebook users.

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