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News Story
10/12/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
The following letter to the editor was published in The New York Times on Saturday, October 12, 2013: To the Editor: Your editorial urging “lawmakers to pass legislation that sets clear rules that would regulate and limit how businesses collect personal information, what they can use it for and how long they keep it” is absolutely...
News Story
7/26/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
A proposed code of conduct for mobile app developers intended to make them explain how user data is collected and used does not have a clear enforcement mechanism,  one privacy advocate said. The code was negotiated this week by several trade groups and the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). While many...
News Release
7/25/2013
Posted by John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC – A yearlong effort convened by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) demonstrates the futility of crafting codes of conduct through a voluntary multi-stakeholder process and the way participants were asked their opinion of the proposed code makes a mockery of the effort,...
News Story
7/25/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of industry lobbyists and privacy rights advocates voiced support Thursday for new voluntary guidelines for mobile apps that should make it easier for consumers to know what personal information is getting sucked from their smartphone or tablet and passed along to marketers. The plan will likely provide a brief,...
News Story
7/25/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
This was not a good week for groups trying to hammer out voluntary privacy policies. A government-hosted multistakeholder group came close Thursday, but stopped short of agreeing on a voluntary code of conduct for how apps communicate to consumers which data they collect and share. Originally convened a year ago by the Commerce Department at the...
News Story
7/25/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
Sample screens disclose what is collected and how it is shared (Source: NTIA) Updated with additional quotes and analysis ( (7/26/2013 1 PM ET)) A new voluntary code has been tentatively established to assure greater transparency in the types of information apps collect and how the information is used, but it’s not...
News Release
7/17/2013
Posted by Jamie Court
SANTA MONICA, CA –The Keystone XL pipeline will raise gasoline prices in the United States, hiking prices at the pump 20 to 40 cents per gallon in the Midwest, with no long-term economic benefit to the U.S. economy, says a new report by Consumer Watchdog.   The report finds that: Drivers, especially in the Midwest, would pay 20 cents...
News Story
6/13/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
A consumer advocacy group is criticizing premium rates in California's health insurance exchange for being too high, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune [1], Los Angeles Times, 6/12). Background The exchange -- named Covered California -- primarily will serve individuals and small businesses. Supporters hope the exchange will function...
News Story
6/12/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
President Obama singled out California last week for getting better-than-expected rates in its rollout of the health insurance overhaul for millions of consumers. Yet some Obamacare supporters say those premiums are still too high, and they are continuing to push for a California ballot measure to regulate health insurance rates. Last month,...
News Story
6/7/2013
Posted by Mark Reback
The revelations in the Washington Post's report on PRISM trains the spotlight on a sticky dilemma. PRISM is a U.S. government anti-terrorism surveillance program that hinges on data mining of Internet traffic records contributed by Microsoft, Google and several other tech giants, It's hard to argue against leaving no stone unturned in...