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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Data Breach Here, Data Breach There, Data Breach Everywhere! | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED 10 June Re DHS Breach: If you shop with plastic, have health insurance, pay taxes, work for the federal government, or (fill in blank) you’re at risk of a data breach. And with so much information about you already available on the Internet, it’s best not to select easy-search security questions like “Where were you born?” or answers like “Pizza.” What’s your best defense against identity theft? No, it isn’t credit monitoring, it’s a security freeze.

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How Companies Turn Your Facebook Activity Into a Credit Score

This story in The Nation explains our work challenging the way data brokers use "black box," or secret, algorithms to make scoring decisions that may violate the law and deny credit opportunities. This work was also the subject of our recent livestream event featuring Professor Frank Pasquale and his new book, "The Black Box Society." We've now posted an archive of that event, in 3 chapters on our Youtube page.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Event 5/11 re new book on black box decisionmaking & consumers | Ed Mierzwinski

UPDATED TO CONFIRM CFPB Speaker. We are hosting an event Monday, 5/11, from 9am-noon ET to discuss a new book, The Black Box Society, with author Frank Pasquale. Click Keep Reading to RSVP to attend in person or to watch the livestream. While credit bureaus have long functioned as black box gatekeepers to opportunity, panelists will discuss the growing use of more and more, even less transparent black boxes to categorize consumers in the digital economy.

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News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

PIRG Commends Supporters of Duckworth Amendment to Protect Our Troops From High-Cost Loans

Last night, on a 32-30 bipartisan vote, the House Armed Services Committee supported the Tammy Duckworth (IL) amendment to strike language from the National Defense Authorization Act that would have delayed Pentagon-proposed improvements to the Military Lending Act of 2007. It's a critical victory for servicemembers, veterans and their families, although the fight to protect our troops from high-cost loans will continue.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

U.S. House Considers Delay To Financial Protections for Servicemembers, Veterans | Ed Mierzwinski

(UPDATED 30 April): Last year the Department of Defense proposed needed improvements to the 2007 Military Lending Act, since high-cost lenders were exploiting loopholes to evade the law's 36% APR cap on loans to servicemembers to make loans at 400% APR or more, harming military families and threatening unit preparedness to defend the nation. Now, days before a committee vote, predatory lenders have succeeded in convincing House Armed Services Committee leaders to insert language into the National Defense Authorization Act that would delay the DoD regulations up to a year while needless, redundant studies are prepared. Only in Washington.

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Media Hit | Food

Food for thought: Report details 85 safety recalls

Tainted cheese, lettuce and waffles are among the 56 food recalls that have affected Pennsylvania since stronger food-safety legislation stalled in Congress in July 2009, according to a study released this week.

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Media Hit | Tax

A TAXING PROBLEM

The average Pennsylvania family makes $50,702 a year and pays roughly $1,556 in state income taxes. Corporations that make millions of dollars in Pennsylvania often face a far lower state income tax bill. In fact, 71 percent pay nothing at all.

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Media Hit | Budget, Tax

Make them pay

Grumble as we may, we all know we have to pay our taxes each year.

But while we pay our fair share to sustain schools, parks, libraries and police departments, most companies that do business in Pennsylvania don't pay any state income tax.

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Media Hit | Tax

In Pa., paying taxes is for the little people Businesses enjoy a huge loophole

A mind-boggling 71 percent of corporations that do business in Pennsylvania don't pay state income tax at all, according to the state Department of Revenue. Can you imagine what would happen if that many residents failed to pay their taxes?

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News Release | PennPIRG | Democracy

Citizens United Supreme Court Opinion Widens Corporate “Personhood” Rights

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 - Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission will significantly expand the role that the most powerful corporations play in election financing.

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Tell your senators to oppose the “Financial CHOICE Act,” which would gut Wall Street reforms and destroy the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as we know it.

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