Tag Archives: Federal Legislation

Judge Shreds Uber; Says Company Can’t Prove Riders Are Giving Up Right To Sue

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

With regard to the Uber app, [U.S. District Court Judge Ned] Rakoff notes that there is no requirement for the new user to even check off a box that they read the terms of service; one could easily finalize their registration without reading, or even knowing about, these terms — let alone the restrictive arbitration clause. Read More ›

‘Pink Tax Repeal’ Bill To End Gender-Based Pricing: U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier Calls For Practice To End, Announces Legislation

by Sara Gaiser Bay, San Mateo Daily Journal

Speier, a former state senator, previously introduced California legislation that passed in 1996 that required pricing for services like dry cleaning and haircuts to be based on the amount of time it took to do the job, not gender. Read More ›

Virtual Assistants Such As Amazon’s Echo Break US Child Privacy Law, Experts Say

by Mark Harris, The Guardian

boy with stuffed toys reading

An investigation by the Guardian has found that despite Amazon marketing the Echo to families with young children, the device is likely to contravene the US Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, set up to regulate the collection and use of personal information from anyone younger than 13. Read More ›

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

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

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. Read More ›

US Senate Panel Reverses Course On Rentals Of Recalled Vehicles

by Jeff Plungis, Bloomberg News


A Senate panel killed a proposal to permit companies to continue renting vehicles that have been recalled, a measure criticized by consumer groups, automakers and even some rental-car companies. The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee instead voted Wednesday to require cars be repaired before they’re rented. … Democrats introduced an amendment that failed on a party-line vote to give [the National Highway Safety Administration] more funding and allow jail time for executives who hide auto-safety defects. Read More ›

American Chemistry Council Lied About Lobbying Role On Flame Retardants, Consultant Says

by David Heath, The Daily Beast

baby standing in crib

The American Chemistry Council has long maintained that it had nothing to do with an enormously successful but deceitful lobbying effort in state capitals to defend the use of potentially ineffective and toxic flame retardants in furniture. Now, in a rare breaking of ranks, a top industry consultant is discrediting that story. … He stepped up to a microphone at a California State Senate hearing to announce his support for a bill [CFC-co-sponsored SB 763] requiring labeling of children’s products containing the chemicals. Read More ›

70 Million Americans Report Stolen Data

by Donna Tapellini, Consumer Reports

While some of those incidents may have resulted from stolen credit cards or other crimes, many stemmed from data breaches. And, as a slew of widely reported breaches last year showed, not only online shoppers are at risk. According to Consumer Reports’s survey, 79% of those notified of a data breach were told by a brick-and-mortar store or a financial institution. Just eighteen percent said the problem originated with an online retailer. Read More ›

Shifting Politics Of Net Neutrality Debate Ahead Of FCC. Vote

by Jonathan Weisman, The New York Times

pipe maze

The arcane fight over net neutrality is about to burst into the open. House and Senate panels will hold hearings on Wednesday pitting the heads of the cable television and wireless lobbies against Amazon and scrappy little Etsy, an online craft market. Senator John Thune, the South Dakota Republican who now heads the commerce committee, hopes to have legislation ready the following week — ahead of the F.C.C.’s February meeting and what Internet activists are calling “the most important F.C.C. vote of our lifetime.” Read More ›

Advocates: Bill Requiring IRS To Use Private Debt Collectors Would Harm Consumers

by Ashley Kieler, Consumerist

It makes sense that the federal government would want to collect owed taxes and a proposed law would require the IRS to push that duty off to private debt collectors. However, a history of abusive practices by debt collectors and the failure of similar programs in the past has consumer advocates warning that the provision will only hurt consumers and the government in the long run. Read More ›

Will a proposed airfare transparency law help consumers, or let the airlines be deceptive?

by Christopher Elliott, Washington Post

At best, the proposed Transparent Airfares Act of 2014 would open a window into the many taxes and mandatory fees attached to your airline ticket. At worst, the proposed law would give airlines a license to quote an artificially low ticket price, undoing years of regulatory efforts to require the display of a full fare. Read More ›

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