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

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.

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.

Personal data of 50M Facebook users wrongly harvested for use in 2016 election
Consumer and privacy advocates expressed outrage at the news that Facebook shared the personal user information of 50 million with a data-mining firm that later when on to work for President Trump’s 2016 campaign. Consumer Action joined privacy and consumer advocates in a March 20 letter urging the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the social media giant may have violated a landmark privacy consent decree from 2011, stating that it would not change access to Facebook users’ data without users’ consent.

Protect employees by ending forced arbitration in the workplace
Consumer Action joined advocates in calling on the leaders of the tech industry’s biggest companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, to remove forced arbitration provisions in employee contracts and take the first steps toward creating a harassment- and discrimination-free environment. While forced arbitration provisions are now common in many types of consumer contracts, forcing an employee into arbitration is equally harmful because of its ability to silence systemic wrongdoing in the workplace.

Consumers must retain choice to opt-out of banks’ marketing schemes
Federal law currently requires big banks to alert consumers annually of their right to opt-out of the sharing of their personal information with third parties. Consumer groups are trying to stop a bill that would remove these protections and expose consumers to rampant unwanted marketing, stolen personal data and more.

Credit unions must follow robocall/text consent laws
When a national credit union association asked for an exemption to gaining consent of credit union customers before sending unsolicited texts and robocalls, consumer advocates cried foul, asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny the exemption request.

Consumers deserve more control over their credit reports
Consumer, civil rights and advocacy groups wrote to members of Congress to express opposition to the Credit Access and Inclusion Act (HR 435). This legislation, if enacted, would reduce consumers’ control over their own data by preempting state and federal privacy protections, damage the credit scores of millions of consumers with a disproportionate impact on African Americans, and conflict with long-standing state utility regulatory consumer protections.

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