Ed's Blog

FTC SEEKS INFORMATION FROM DATA BROKERS

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued nine administrative orders seeking information to analyze the "Data Broker Industry’s Collection and Use of Consumer Data." The questions being asked track closely the questions posed both in a forthcoming U.S. PIRG/Center for Digital Democracy law review article and in similar information requests from the Bi-Partisan Congressional Privacy Caucus.

CFPB'S #2 IS LEAVING, REPLACEMENT MUST MEET STANDARDS TO BECOME #1

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

The industry trade press is all a-flutter with demands that when CFPB Deputy Director Raj Date leaves, that be replaced with what they characterize as "another" bank-friendly regulator when he leaves. Raj Date wasn't selected as CFPB special advisor and then deputy director because he had a banking background; he was selected because his additional consumer background made him qualified to become director.

GROUPS CRITICIZE FTC USED CAR RULE AND OTHER FINANCIAL FOLLIES

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Americans for Financial Reform and other leading groups slammed a proposed new FTC Used Car Rule for failing to protect consumers and ignoring advice of advocates and state attorneys general. Meanwhile, in case you missed it, find out why an alleged financial fraudster was featured on the New York Times baseball page and read other financial follies of the week.

Consumers want "Do not track" privacy right but powerful firms fight back

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

A new study shows that web surfers want an easy-to-use Do-Not-Track right to stop online tracking and collection of information about their web choices. But a powerful coalition of web advertisers and web publishers is fighting back, here and abroad, and it claims that such targeted advertising is what makes the Internet "free."

new consumer group, Consumers Count, to fight for arbitration reform

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, consumerscount.org launched as a website using "crowdsourcing" to help consumers band together to fight back when they have same complaint against the same company, but are limited by forced arbitration clauses and restrictions on class action rights from obtaining redress. At least until the CFPB bans forced arbitration, we need innovative ideas like consumerscount.org.

FTC slams Equifax as Senate joins House inquiry into credit bureaus' data broker cousins

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

This week the FTC ordered the massive credit bureau Equifax to disgorge $393,000 in profits and its customer, Direct Lending Source, to pay a $1.2 million civil penalty for selling lists of credit reports for illegal marketing purposes. Meanwhile, Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller has announced his own investigation into the practice of unregulated data brokers, the close cousins of the credit bureaus that are already the subject of a bi-partisan House inquiry.

Tips for fixing credit report errors yourself (don't ever use a credit repair doctor)

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Fox Business reporter Kelly Dilworth has a detailed "how-to" called "10 surefire steps to get errors off your credit reports." Don't go to a credit repair doctor, don't read a bunch of wacky advice on self-help websites, don't do any of that, Do what she says.

State Attorneys General Oppose Payday Lender Protection Bill In Congress

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Last week a bi-partisan group of 41 state Attorneys General announced their joint opposition to misguided legislation to take both the CFPB and the states off the payday lender crime beat. Nevertheless, the payday lenders continue to invest in the political process.

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