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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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Report | TexPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Who Pays for the Road

Many Americans believe – erroneously – that the money they pay in gasoline taxes and other “user fees” covers the cost of building and maintaining our streets and highways. In fact, local roads and bridges are almost always paid for through local property taxes, while the share of the nation’s highway construction and repair bill paid by gas taxes has been dwindling over time. Since 2008, the federal government has diverted $52 billion in general tax revenue to the Highway Trust Fund – more than the nation has spent to subsidize Amtrak in its entire 42-year history.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Higher Ed

Students Need a Strong Financial Watchdog, Too

New In The Public Interest column on Monday in The Huffington Post from Andrew Merki, a senior at Indiana University-Bloomington and the chair of Indiana Public Interest Research Group.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Health Care

The Perfect Venue for the Health Care Bill Signing

By holding today's signing ceremony at a community college, President Obama could not have picked a more fitting venue. It's not just because the legislation he has signed over the past week will double Pell grants and allow those under 26 years old to stay on their parent's insurance.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Health Care

Historic Health Reform Sets U.S. on Path to Lower Costs

Today’s votes in the House and Senate put the finishing touches on a legislative accomplishment that has remained out of reach for every previous Congress: comprehensive health reform. We congratulate the House and Senate leadership and every member of Congress who voted for reform.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Higher Ed

Student Aid Surges As Congress Curtails Sweetheart Deals

“Today Congress voted to make historic investments into financial aid by ending sweetheart deals for big banks and lenders. This is a game-changing bill that banishes banks from the federal student loan program while aiding students mired in education debt.

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News Release | TexPIRG | Health Care

Consumer Group Gives Final Health Care Package an A- on Costs

The final health reform package, with the addition of the reconciliation fixes being debated by the Senate today, has earned an A- from the consumer group TexPIRG for its cost-containment provisions.

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Defend the CFPB

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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