The perils of microtask work

by Megan Geuss, Ars Technica


Microtask platforms recruit humans to do the rating, tagging, review-writing, and poll-taking work that can’t quite be automated with an algorithm yet. A new study from the United Nations’ International Labor Organization (ILO) questions whether these platforms are as good for society as the Silicon Valley investors and digital evangelists claim. Read More ›

The final insult for desperate job seekers: Employers doing credit checks

by Jacob Passy, MarketWatch


A new working paper demonstrates how pre-employment credit screenings perpetuate the ‘poverty trap.’ Read More ›

Facebook is letting job advertisers target only men

by Ariana Tobin & Jeremy B. Merrill, Ars Technica (via Propublica)

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Hundreds of thousands of Americans drive for Uber. And the company is looking for many more. It runs ads on Facebook that say, for example, “Driving toward something? Make extra money when it works for you and get there faster.” There’s just one catch: Many of those ads are not visible to women. Read More ›

CFC-sponsored garage safety law signed by Governor

Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 969, a new law designed to save lives in home fires. The Consumer Federation of California sponsored SB 969 by Senator Bill Dodd, which requires newly sold or installed electric garage door openers to be equipped with a battery backup to prevent people … Read More ›

A California Supreme Court case started as a $7,812.03 hospital bill

by Barbara Anderson, Fresno Bee

Stethoscope on money

The Fresno case began after a patient disputed a bill he received for treatment of an injured wrist at the emergency department at Community Regional Medical Center. A couple of X-rays and a splint resulted in a bill totaling $7,812.03. Read More ›

California Supreme Court rules some consumer loans so expensive they break the law

by James Rufus Koren, Los Angeles Times

payday_loans 320 x 189 stock foto

California’s high court has ruled that interest rates on consumer loans can be so high that they become “unconscionable” and, therefore, illegal — a decision that could call into question the validity of millions of loans and upend the state’s subprime lending market. In a unanimous opinion … Read More ›

Poll: Majority of likely voters support CFPB mission

by Sylvan Lane, The Hill

cfpb 320 x 190

The results found broad support for the CFPB’s historically aggressive oversight coupled with opposition to changes implemented or proposed by Acting Director Mick Mulvaney. Read More ›

CFC supports AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher)

The Consumer Federation of California supports AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher), which will prevent employers from requiring workers to sign waiver of rights agreements as a condition of employment. These rights include: (1) disclosing to any person an instance of sexual harassment that the employee or independent contractor … Read More ›

States try to quash robocalls, but they’re worse than ever

by Elaine S. Povich,

Image courtesy of Pexels

The calls are not just nuisances — consumers are cheated out of an estimated $350 million a year by phone scams, many involving automatic dialing. States are trying to act. Read More ›

How Kavanaugh could shape the coming “watershed” moment for digital privacy

by Kathyrn Watson, CBS News

Image courtesy of Pexels

Over the course of the next two decades, the Supreme Court will likely undertake some of the most consequential digital privacy cases that will reverberate across generations to come. And Judge Brett Kavanaugh could be a deciding voice. Read More ›

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