Latest in Consumer News


Uber Agrees To Settle Class-Action Suit Over Safety Claims

Uber has agreed to pay $28.5 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that took issue with the company’s claims that its driver background checks were “industry leading.” The terms of the settlement, filed on Thursday in the United States District Court in the Northern District of California, require Uber to pay roughly 25 million riders across the United States … Uber passengers who used the service in the United States between Jan. 1, 2013, and Jan. 31, 2016, will be notified by email and have the option to accept a refund in the form of a rider credit or a charge back to their credit card on file.


CNIL Gives Facebook Three Months To Comply With Privacy Order

French data protection authority CNIL sent a formal notice to the social networking giant that it was violating the nation’s privacy law and now has three months to get into compliance. … With the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield arrangement under works and more answers to a potential agreement due in the next two-to-three months, the CNIL’s three-month deadline to Facebook … “gives you an idea of the timescales in which data protection regulators expect global organizations to put their international data flows in order,” [one privacy advocate said].

Stethoscope on money

Taming Drug Prices By Pulling Back The Curtain Online

A few entrepreneurs say they are aiming to fundamentally change the way people buy drugs, bringing the industry into the digital age by disclosing the lowest prices for generic prescriptions to allow comparison-shopping. … Nearly 90 percent of the prescriptions dispensed in the United States are for generic drugs, according to IMS Health, a consulting firm. … The listed price for a 30-day supply of the generic version of Lipitor, for example, is $196 at Kmart, according to GoodRx, and $61 at Kroger. With a coupon obtained through GoodRx, the drug is about $12. Blink Health is offering Lipitor for $9.94.

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Bill Aims To Restore Consumers’ Legal Rights Stripped Away By Supreme Court Rulings

Sen. Patrick Leahy from Vermont and Sen. Al Franken from Minnesota announced the Restoring Statutory Rights Act. … It would create an exception in the Arbitration Act for disputes involving individuals and small businesses. The only way individuals would enter into arbitration is if they agreed to do so after the dispute has been filed. That’s very different from the current process, which automatically shunts all customer disputes into binding arbitration.

boy with stuffed toys reading

Something New to Worry About: Connected Toy Security

Rapid7 researchers examined the Fisher Price Smart Toy, an interactive stuffed animal for children aged 3 to 8 that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi. They also took a look at HereO, a GPS smartwatch that allows parents to track their child’s location. In both cases, they found that the toys failed to safeguard children’s information such as their names and in the case of the watch, their location, storing it on remote servers in such a way that unauthorized people could access it by masquerading as legitimate users. … Toy-related security problems began to grab headlines late last year.