Category Archives: Privacy

Tax filing companies’ use of customers’ data under scrutiny

What are online tax preparation companies doing with customers’ data? Members of Congress sent a letter this week urging the IRS to investigate. A report published last fall in the publication, The Markup, disclosed that online tax filing services were sending taxpayers’ identities and financial information to Facebook through code called Pixel. Specifically, it found […]

New tech products prompt privacy, consumer choice, and environmental concerns

The Washington Post reports that companies touting new tech products — including health wearables, smart TVs, autonomous vehicles, and other gadgets that rely on data from our bodies or homes — seldom directly address how they treat customer’s data after it’s collected or their approach to safety and security. The article is here.

Study finds 83% of consumers agreed to social network terms of service that obliged them to provide kidney or eyeball

Jonathan A. Obar of the Department of Communication Studies at York University and the Quello Center at Michigan State and Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch of the Department of Communication at Connecticut have written Older Adults and ‘The Biggest Lie on the Internet’: From Ignoring Social Media Policies to the Privacy Paradox, 16 International Journal of Communication 4779 […]

Study examines whether data breach notification laws work

Aniket Kesari of NYU’s Information Law Institute has written Do Data Breach Notification Laws Work? Here’s the abstract: Over 2.8 million Americans have reported being victims identify theft in recent years, costing the U.S. economy at least $13 billion in 2020. In response to this growing problem, all 50 states have enacted some form of data […]

Chris Peterson & Marshall Steinbaum Article on the Gig Economy, Consumer Protection, and Antitrust

Christopher Lewis Peterson of Utah Law and Marshall Steinbaum of Utah's Department of Economics have written Coercive Rideshare Practices: At the Intersection of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Law in the Gig Economy, University of Chicago Law Review, Forthcoming. Here's the abstract: This article considers antitrust and consumer protection liability for coercive practices vis-à-vis drivers that are prevalent […]

Will Congress pass an online privacy bill?

by Jeff Sovern The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce has forwarded to the full committee a bipartisan bill (draft here, though perhaps not the version the subcommittee approved; section-by-section commentary here). The last I heard, Senator Cantwell, the Senate Commerce Committee chair, had not signed on, putting the bill's future […]

Chao paper suggests unjust enrichment claims confer standing, even after TransUnion

Bernard Chao of Denver has written Unjust Enrichment: Standing Up for Privacy Rights. Here is the abstract: In TransUnion LLC v. Ramirez, one of the country’s largest credit reporting agencies violated the Federal Credit Report Act (“FCRA”) by failing to “follow reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy . . ..” As a result, thousands of […]

CFPB Spring Regulatory Agenda is up and arbitration isn’t on it

by Jeff Sovern As the American Banker's Kate Berry reported (behind a paywall but available on Lexis), the CFPB's Spring Regulatory Agenda has been posted to the OMB's web site, rather than, as has been the Bureau's practice, the CFPB web site. Here it is: Prerule stage – Consumer Access to Financial Records, 3170-AA78 Proposed […]

Who wrote the Utah Va, Colo, privacy laws? The Markup says it was industry lobbyists

Here.  Excerpt: Not just in Utah, but in Virginia and Washington, and Minnesota, tech companies have provided draft language that led to the introduction of industry-friendly privacy bills, according to legislators The Markup interviewed and previous reporting by Protocol.  Big Tech funded nonprofits like TechNet, the State Privacy and Security Coalition, and the Internet Association have […]