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 call on Congress do more for victims of Equifax breach
The Equifax data breach is prompting advocates to call on Congress for better protection of consumers' sensitive financial information. Not only should free credit freeze legislation be implemented immediately, but Congress should also resist the financial and banking industries attempts to pass legislation that preempts stronger state laws in matters that relate to consumers’ data security and privacy.

Caller ID authentication provides protection against illegal and unwanted calls
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) acknowledges that consumers get an unacceptably high volume of calls that can annoy or defraud. One particularly disturbing category is spoofed robocalls where the caller ID is a fake, hiding the caller's true identity. Consumer advocates applaud the FCC’s rollout of proposed new rules that aim to stop spoof calls and believe implementing caller ID authentication will aid the agency's attempt to curb robocall scams.

Consumer groups call on House to oppose pyramid scheme promotion amendment
A broad coalition of consumer advocacy organizations is calling on the House of Representatives to oppose efforts to weaken the Federal Trade Commission’s ability to protect consumers from fraudulent pyramid schemes. An amendment offered by Congressman John Moolenaar (R-MI) was added to the House Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which would eliminate long-standing requirements that direct selling companies establish a viable retail business instead of relying on a churning base of new recruits.

Consumer/privacy groups weigh in on 2017 privacy bills
Privacy and consumer rights groups comment on broadband and internet privacy bills recently introduced in the Senate and House.

What’s more annoying than robocalls? We could soon find out.
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in submitting comments to the Federal Communications Commission opposing its proposal to allow private companies and political organizations to send automated messages into consumers’ voicemail inboxes without causing the cellphones themselves to ring. The proposal would move “ringless voicemail” robocalling technology from a regulatory gray area to legal fair game, opening the floodgates for telemarketers and political organizations to inundate Americans’ voicemails with messages hawking products, services, and candidates for office.

Unnecessary FCC rule continues to threaten consumers' privacy
Consumer Action joined coalition advocates in urging the Federal Communications Commission to repeal a rule that requires phone companies to retain the detailed call records of their customers, saying it’s unnecessary and threatens consumer privacy. The rule, known as the data retention mandate, is unduly burdensome and ineffectual and poses a threat to American consumers’ privacy and security.

A push for regulatory leadership that is unimpeachably independent
Donald Trump ran on "draining the swamp" of corruption in Washington, DC. Yet, as president, he is working to install a revolving-door government run by representatives of the big businesses our government is supposed to be regulating. In a letter to the Democratic Senate leadership, coalition advocates remind senators that the need for public minded watchdogs has never been greater. The American people deserve voices on a diverse collection of independent agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, Federal Communications Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, that are independent of excessive corporate influence.

Republicans want to kill FCC’s consumer privacy protections
In an attempt to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) landmark internet privacy rules, the FCC’s new republican chairman, Ajit Pai, will hear comments on petitions for the Commission to suspend and ultimately rescind new privacy rules from broadband providers like AT&T, Verizon and Comcast. The rule would have required these internet service providers to take more stringent steps to protect consumers' personal data. Privacy advocates, including Consumer Action, denounce the attempt to weaken the rule, arguing that consumers’ information will be more vulnerable to breaches and unauthorized use. As it stands, the rule will provide vital consumer privacy protections that will help ensure consumers have choice, transparency, and security.

Children’s advocates oppose attempts to revoke internet privacy rules
Consumer Action and a coalition of children's advocates have filed a comment opposing petitions that ask the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to revoke its broadband privacy rules. The coalition urged the FCC to retain rules that treat children's data, web browsing histories, and app usage data as sensitive and to retain opt-in requirements for all categories of sensitive information. Advocates previously urged the FCC to establish comprehensive safeguards for consumer privacy, to ban pay-for-privacy schemes, and to prohibit mandatory arbitration.

Requiring mobile passwords is a direct assault on fundamental rights
The new Department of Homeland Security proposal that requires non-citizens disclose their social media passwords and frequently visited websites would enable border officials to invade people’s privacy by examining years of private emails, texts, and messages. It would expose travelers and everyone in their social networks, including potentially millions of U.S. citizens, to excessive, unjustified scrutiny. Consumer and privacy advocates joined together in a letter to the Department of Homeland Security to condemn this invasive proposal. Not only does this requirement fail to increase the security of U.S. citizens, it’s a direct assault on their fundamental rights and sets a horrible global precedent.

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