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

Modernizing Medicare education tools empower seniors
Coalition advocates urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue its efforts to improve and enhance the information and decision-making tools available to Medicare beneficiaries, in order to better enable seniors to make informed decisions and become active choosers in their health coverage.

FHFA announces major upgrades to mortgage application process for LEP borrowers
Consumer Action joined advocates in applauding the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in its efforts to improve its affordable housing goals and to reach underserved communities.

Consumer groups stand up to threats to take complaint database dark
Consumer, privacy, civil rights and fair lending groups from across the nation called on temporary, Acting Director Mick Mulvaney today to retain availability of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) complaint tool after recent threats to ban public access to the public complaint database.

Border wall funding is a waste of taxpayer dollars
Funding for a border wall has faced strong opposition from a diverse coalition of organizations that include Latino, civil rights, consumer, environmental, faith and border community groups. The coalition has spent months advocating against the militarization of the border and the vilification of border and immigrant communities. As Congress moves forward with the FY2019 appropriations process, we urge leadership to reject efforts to continue funding additional border wall construction that draws scarce resources away from urgently needed infrastructure.

Last-ditch effort to prevent auto lending discrimination fails
Consumer Action and its allies wrote to Congress on April 16 to plead that it not interfere with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to prevent auto loan discrimination. The Bureau’s “guidance” to car lenders sought to end a common discriminatory practice to charge some borrowers more in interest and fees, regardless of their creditworthiness (“dealer mark-ups”). Even though these discriminatory violations still occur, the Senate on April 18 moved to eliminate the 2013 guidance document, allowing the practice to continue. These discretionary auto dealer mark-ups result, in some cases, in African Americans and Latinos paying more than similarly situated white borrowers.

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.

Transparency lacking in California arbitration proceedings
More than 30 national and California-based consumer, labor and civil rights organizations—including Consumer Action—wrote to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on March 21 urging him to investigate private arbitration firms for violating state law. California requires these firms to periodically disclose basic information about claims they’ve heard so as to inform the public. The 2003 law requires that firms name the corporations and firms involved in the proceeding, the nature of the dispute, and whether the consumer or non-consumer party prevailed, among other information.

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.

Advocates alarmed as HUD considers dropping key mission
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), responsible for stopping housing discrimination, proposed new language in its mission statement that seemed to encourage consumer “self-sufficiency” over strict enforcement. The move alarmed civil rights, consumer, and fair housing advocates, who worry that the government agency expressly responsible for combating housing discrimination would deemphasize the importance of its mandate under the Fair Housing Act of 1968. The groups joined in a March 8 letter to HUD Secretary Ben Carson asking him to correct this “unfortunate impression.” (It’s been reported that Carson subsequently responded in a HUD memo, saying: “The notion that any new mission statement would reflect a lack of commitment to fair housing is nonsense.”)

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