Latest in Consumer News


Home Depot Says 56 Million Credit/Debit Cards Compromised in Breach

The world’s largest home improvement retailer has finally given some idea about the number of accounts that may have been compromised between April and September: approximately 56 million. The Target breach in 2013 resulted in the theft of information of more than 100 million customers. Journalist Brian Krebs reports today that it looks like the Home Depot breach may have been confined to self-service checkout terminals at around 1,700 U.S. stores. Home Depot restated its previous claim that it doesn’t look like PIN information was stolen for debit card users.

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White House Acknowledges Over-use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals, Shrugs

A report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology that acknowledges a growing over-use of antibiotics in agriculture and medicine “underscores the crisis we’re facing as bacteria become increasingly resistant to antibiotics,” a Natural Resources Defense Council spokeswoman said. “Unfortunately, much more follow through is needed from the Administration. … It must take steps to curb the overuse of antibiotics in animals, which consume about 80 percent of the antibiotics.”

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Gov. Brown Signs Insurance Bill for Uber and Competitors

AB 2293 ensures that drivers for services such as Uber and Lyft don’t rely on personal insurance policies when engaging in commercial activities. Firms must provide $50,000 coverage for injuries to a single passenger, $100,000 for all occupants of a car and have $200,000 worth of coverage available for victims of more serious mishaps. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones instead backs a proposal at the California Public Utilities Commission, which is expected to incorporate provisions of AB 2293 into proposed regulations now being considered.


Shakeup at PG&E, State Agency over ‘Inappropriate’ Talks

A string of e-mails shows PG&E influenced the selection of an administrative law judge (ALJ) to decide how much of a burden customers should bear for billions of dollars of gas-pipeline improvements after the September 2010 San Bruno explosion that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. CPUC President Michael Peevey has asked his chief of staff to resign, and he said he would not take part in any commission vote on how much PG&E should be penalized for the blast. PG&E plans to appeal the $1.4 billion penalty, and an appeal would likely come before the commission.

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Sen. Noreen Evans: Close to Home: Prop. 46 Will Save Lives

Foes of Prop 46 are pressing their case with an ad blitz bankrolled by the malpractice insurance industry. They say health costs will go up, medical malpractice insurance premiums will skyrocket and doctors will leave the state or quit. But they won’t offer evidence, because there is none.