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News Release
8/16/2012
CONTACT Judy Dugan, Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA — San Bernardino County, plagued by predatory mortgages that left 60% of the county’s homeowners underwater, is stepping up to solve the problem on its own after the failure of banks and the financial industry to stem the crisis, said Consumer Watchdog. The county’s newly formed joint powers authority scheduled a...
News Release
8/9/2012
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – The Federal Trade Commission’s record $22.5 million penalty against Google is inadequate unless the Internet giant admits its wrongdoing, Consumer Watchdog said today. The nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group said it will try to block the settlement, which must still be approved by a federal judge, unless...
News Release
8/1/2012
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Washington DC – Big mortgage bundlers tied to title companies and the real estate lobby are seeking to get Congress to allow home warranty companies to pay now-illegal kickbacks to real estate brokers under last minute Congressional legislation. Consumer Watchdog condemned the effort to let the legislation proceed without a floor...
Blog Post
7/24/2012
By Carmen Balber
Marchers shut down the streets on five different routes through the heart of downtown DC, and I lent Consumer Watchdog's voice in support of the Robin Hood Tax and the Fight to End AIDS. The marchers wove a story through downtown DC, stopping in front of lobby shops to call out the worst Wall Street and corporate offenders and demanding a...
News Release
7/23/2012
CONTACT John M. Simpson
WASHINGTON, DC – Google and Facebook continued pumping record amounts of money into their lobbying efforts during the second quarter to influence federal lawmakers and regulators, according to lobbying disclosure forms filed with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Google’s second quarter lobbying spending soared 90...
Blog Post
7/20/2012
By Carmen Balber
Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. But since speculation by the big banks stole trillions in wealth from average Americans and devastated the world economy, I'd call a small tax on financial transactions more like taking our own money back. That’s why I’ll be marching with tens of thousands of people in DC...
News Release
7/20/2012
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog warned today that an attempt to “harmonize” California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act could weaken privacy protections for patients. The CMIA provides stronger privacy protections than HIPAA. In...
Blog Post
7/16/2012
By John M. Simpson
The Obama Administration launched its "multistakeholder" privacy deliberations last week, but its difficult to see how there will be meaningful results unless Team Obama changes its tactics.   You'll remember that last February the White House released its landmark privacy report, Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World...
News Release
7/10/2012
CONTACT John M. Simpson
SANTA MONICA, CA – The Federal Trade Commission reportedly plans to fine Google $22.5 million for hacking around privacy settings on iPhones and iPads that use Apple’s Safari browser. Consumer Watchdog praised the Commission today for its expected strong action defending consumer privacy. Consumer Watchdog had filed a complaint in...
Blog Post
7/3/2012
By Judy Dugan
One of the best consumer protections of the health reform law was a requirement that health insurance companies spend at least 80% to 85% of your premiums on actual health care, leaving 15% to 20% for overhead and those multimillion-dollar executive salaries. If companies don't meet this efficiency level, the they have to pay back some of...