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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 | 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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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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News Release | TexPIRG | Health Care

House Stands up to Insurers, Takes Big Step Forward

“The passage of health reform tonight is a huge step forward for the country. It happened because 219 Members of the House of Representatives stood up to the powerful Washington health insurance industry lobby.

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