Spotlight Archive

  • Saturday, April 09, 2016
    Consumer Action releases consumer-centric data privacy principles »

    Consumer Action, a national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering underrepresented consumers nationwide, takes a look at this Faustian bargain and finds that consumers’ consent for how their data is used is vague, misunderstood and often ignored altogether. In a new white paper, Aligning privacy, permissions and profit: Improving consumers’ control over data consent, the organization outlines a series of principles for data privacy, all centered on a single premise: Consumer consent should guide corporate behavior and proper use of customer data.

  • Monday, March 21, 2016
    Watch out! Online video and your privacy »

    While consumers now have many more options for how, where and when they watch video, they also face new risks to their personal privacy. This publication makes viewers aware of the privacy issues raised by video streaming and video sharing technology as well as what they can do to protect themselves.

  • Monday, March 21, 2016
    What’s not to ‘Like’? Protecting your privacy on social media »

    Online sharing is a hugely popular pastime. This publication presents the potential risks of oversharing on social media and provides specific tips and tools for participating in social networks while also protecting your privacy and staying safe online.

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016
    Consumer Action News: Changing world of TV and video »

    In the Spring 2016 issue of Consumer Action News, we examine the impact of streaming video entertainment and its impact on traditional television. Included are a sample cost comparison between pay-TV providers and subscription-based streaming services, a how-to for streaming and a look at the privacy concerns inherent in the new world of Internet-based TV and video.

  • Friday, December 18, 2015
    Correcting and protecting your credit record »

    The credit reporting issue of Consumer Action News covers some welcome changes in reporting rules and the dispute resolution process, explains how consumers can access free credit scores and deal with delinquent debt on their reports, and throws light on the rights and challenges for job seekers and data breach victims.

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015
    Protect your legal rights: Support the Arbitration Fairness Act »

    Did you know that credit card and telephone companies, banks and other major corporations are actively fighting to take away your right to sue them in a court of law if they misbehave? They want to force you into arbitration – a private system without a judge, jury or right to an appeal – so that they can avoid the costs associated with awarding you damages or improving their products and services. Proposals in Congress and the Senate—the Arbitration Fairness Act of 2015 (HR 2087 and S 1133)—would counter this attempt on behalf of big business by eliminating forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer and civil rights cases.

  • Thursday, November 19, 2015
    Insider’s guide to responding to debt collectors »

    Millions of consumers are contacted by debt collectors every year. This concise “insider’s” guide to responding to a debt collection call or letter, written with input from an association of collectors, provides tips for communicating effectively with a collector, exercising and protecting your rights and avoiding debt collection scams.

  • Tuesday, October 27, 2015
    What to know before you pay on the go: Read our Mobile Payments Guide »

    Take out your mobile phone at checkout and presto, you've paid! There's a little more to it than that... Consumer Action’s Mobile Payments Guide details how popular mobile payment systems work and what to consider when deciding to make mobile payments.

  • Wednesday, July 15, 2015
    Get Consumer Action's new e-newsletter, SCAM GRAM! »

    SCAM GRAM is Consumer Action’s new monthly email alerting you to the dirtiest players in the world of tech fraud, credit card scams, ID theft and general con-artistry. Don’t be fooled by liars, cheaters and deceivers—wise up with SCAM GRAM!

  • Wednesday, July 30, 2014
    Medical credit cards require careful scrutiny »

    Unexpected medical and dental bills can wreak havoc with your budget. A number of companies offer credit cards to help consumers finance these bills, but Consumer Action found that several feature a trap called “deferred interest.”

  • Wednesday, March 13, 2013
    Consumer groups say, Honor users' online Do Not Track choices »

    Leading consumer advocates call for a simple Do-Not-Track (DNT) mechanism that allows individuals to decide when, whether, and how they will be tracked online, no matter what kind of technology or device they use.

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2012
    Consumer Action compares credit card comparison sites »

    With the rise of the Internet, comparing credit cards has become a business model for dozens of companies. Card comparison sites make money when consumers click through and apply for a card. Consumer Action looked at 54 sites to determine which ones offer the most useful and complete information to credit card shoppers. To narrow the list, we evaluated them using a checklist of key elements—and 13 met all or most of our criteria.
  • Friday, September 09, 2011
    WellPoint/Anthem Blue Cross class action »

    Victims of the ID Theft Breach at WellPoint/Anthem Blue Cross have less than three weeks to sign up for certain court-ordered benefits under the class action settlement.
  • Thursday, December 30, 2010
    Our privacy work in 2010 »

    Online privacy exploded into a highly charged public debate in 2010, attracting the attention of Congress, federal regulators, and Internet users. Consumer Action was in the heart of the action, advocating for strong consumer rights with government agencies, industry representatives and legislators alike.
  • Friday, August 21, 2009
    Personal health records subject to breach notice »

    The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes provisions to strengthen privacy and security protections for companies that offer web-based “personal health record” services. (One such business in Microsoft Health Vault.) The law directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to issue a rule requiring these companies to contact customers in the event of a security breach. After receiving comments from the public, the FTC issued the Health Breach Notification Rule.
  • Thursday, June 04, 2009
    Report: 'Web bugs' tracking you online »

    Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley's School of Information released a report on June 1 showing that the most popular Web sites in the United States all share data with their corporate affiliates and allow third parties to collect information directly by using tracking beacons known as "Web bugs" - despite the sites' claims that they don't share user data with third parties.
  • Thursday, April 16, 2009
    Patient’s Guide to HIPAA »

    HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), a 1996 federal statute, is the most important federal health privacy law. Most of this guide explains what you should know about HIPAA. This guide also highlights some other federal laws that may be relevant to health privacy.
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2008
    Patient Privacy Rights 'Toolkit' »

    Consumer Action's Privacy Information Project recommends Patient Privacy Rights' online “Privacy Toolkit” of forms and other information to help consumers protect their medical information.
  • Tuesday, November 18, 2008
    Exploring our 'Digital Destiny' »

    Privacy activist and author Jeff Chester explores our "Digital Destiny" in this book that delves into media and telecommunications regulation. Chester explains clearly how the new media system functions, what’s at stake, and what we can do to fight the corporate media’s plans for our “digital destiny."

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