Financial Reform

Report | U.S. PIRG Education Fund | Financial Reform

Positioned To Protect

With the CFPB under new management less interested in consumer protection and law enforcement, our new report highlights steps states, counties and cities are taking to protect consumers better. Coincidentally, the report was completed on the same day that the U.S. Senate confirmed Kathy Kraninger to a 5-year term as CFPB director. She replaces her mentor, the OMB director Mick Mulvaney, who has been serving as acting CFPB director for just over a year.

EU NGOs Blast Google Locational Data Collection as US Groups Blast FTC on Privacy

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Today, 7 member groups of the European Consumer Organization (BEUC) asked each of their national Data Protection Authorities to investigate Google Android's smartphone locational data collection practices following an investigative report by the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) finding that Google may be in violation of the new European GDPR privacy law. All the groups are members of the U.S. PIRG-backed TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue, which itself  followed up on the report and EU actions with a letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Meanwhile, as the Senate prepared for an afternoon FTC oversight hearing today where Facebook may be a focus, we joined leading groups in a separate letter to complain to the FTC about its biased staff report that adopts unsubstantiated industry claims in defense of an FTC call to the administration for weak baseline privacy choices. 

2019 Fight Over Data Privacy Rights Heating Up Already

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Next year, a highly-anticipated privacy and data rights battle will occur in Congress. Powerful special interests from Google to Facebook are responding to the new European General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) by seeking to quash any similar effort to protect U.S. consumers while simultaneously seeking to preempt a new California privacy law before it takes effect in 2020. Will we continue as data collector products, not their customers, or will we gain control over our own financial DNA? The state PIRGs are in this one; guess which side we're on. Today we joined 34 leading groups in issuing shared Privacy Principles.

News Release | U.S. PIRG | Financial Reform

Fifty Groups Ask FTC, CFPB To Investigate Experian Over Security Flaw

This week, fifty leading state and national consumer, civil rights, military family, faith and other groups joined U.S. PIRG (letter to regulators) in urging the FTC and CFPB to investigate a security flaw (apparently fixed) at the credit bureau Experian. As originally reported by Nerdwallet, whose findings were confirmed by U.S. PIRG, access to "secret" PINs to temporarily lift credit freezes was left available to anyone who answered "none of the above" to security questions. 

The Facebook Data Breach: What You Need to Know and What You Should Do

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

This guest post from Nathan Acks of the State PIRG Internet Security team offers background on the latest Facebook breach and what you can do.

Ten Years After Lehman, Lessons of Financial Collapse Ignored, Not Forgotten

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

Ten years ago this weekend the collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers marked the massive financial collapse of 2008. Millions of Americans lost homes, jobs and trillions of dollars in retirement savings. Today, the financial collapse hasn't been forgotten, it's being ignored by Congress and Wall Street.

Latest Trojan Horse Data Breach Bill (HR6743-Luetkemeyer) Could Be Called "Equifax Protection Act"

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

On Thursday, 13 September, the House Financial Services Committee is to consider the latest in a long series of data security and data breach bills that Congress takes up at the request of the banks. These Trojan Horse bills come riding in with few, if any, protections riding in the saddle, but massive elimination of stronger state laws hidden in the belly of the beasts. The proposal, HR6743, the Consumer Information Notification Requirement Act (Luetkemeyer (MO)), might also be called the “Equifax Protection Act.”

Resource | Financial Reform

Groups Demand That CFPB Nominee Be Qualified

Prior to a Senate Banking vote on the president's nominee to become permanent director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), leading consumer, faith and civil rights organizations sent a letter to the committee describing minimum standards for a qualified director. The President's nominee, Kathy Kraninger, does not meet those standards, nor has she said that she supports the mission of the Bureau: protecting consumers.

We Join Leading Groups Urging SEC To Strengthen Weak Investor Best Interest Proposal

By | Ed Mierzwinski
Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program

We've joined leading consumer, civil rights, labor and older American organizations in a comment letter urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to strengthen its proposed "Regulation Best Interest" intended to ensure that all broker-dealers and other individuals and firms offering investment advice act do so in a fiduciary capacity, or in the best interest of their investor-clients. (Right now, it doesn't).

Resource | Financial Reform

Leading Groups File SEC Comment on "Best Interest" Standard

You can download this letter from leading consumer, civil rights, labor and older American organizations, including U.S. PIRG. It was filed as a comment describing our concerns with the SEC's proposed "Best Interest" standard intended to ensure that all individuals and firms offering investment advice act in a fiduciary capacity, or in the best interest of their clients.

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