Latest in Consumer News


As data about drivers proliferates, auto insurers look to adjust rates

It’s no surprise that car accidents, speeding tickets and where you live all affect how much you pay for automobile insurance. But consumer groups say that other, apparently unrelated, factors are unfairly being used to set rates. Two organizations have released separate reports contending that the factors insurance companies are using to determine rates — like educational level and occupation — are detrimental to consumers, especially to low-income customers.


When ‘Liking’ a Brand Online Voids the Right to Sue

The change in legal terms, which occurred shortly after a judge refused to dismiss a case brought against the company by consumers in California, made General Mills one of the first, if not the first, major food companies to seek to impose what legal experts call “forced arbitration” on consumers.


Smartphone ‘kill switches’ on the way

Smartphone thefts have grown increasingly violent as the devices have risen in value, commanding several hundred dollars each on the black market. The Federal Communications Commission said mobile-device theft is the No. 1 property crime in America. The industry has struggled with a response. Just this month, industry representatives testified they couldn’t offer the type of solution that they now are proposing.


Privacy price gouging, courtesy of phone companies

By now, you’re probably thinking you have no privacy left. To cite just a couple of prominent recent examples, we had Target and other retailers admitting in January that hackers may have accessed the credit and debit card numbers of more than 110 million people. Last week, …


Top Android app a scam, pulled from Google Play

According to Android Police, Virus Shield is a fake security app: Instead of scanning apps, settings, files, and media, like the service advertises, its shield icon simply changes from an “X” image to a check mark after a single tap.