Category Archives: Unfair & Deceptive Acts & Practices (UDAP), including Discrimination

The FTC’s busy week

The Federal Trade Commission has been busy the past few days: FTC Finalizes Order Requiring Credit Karma to Pay $3 Million and Halt Deceptive ‘Pre-Approved’ Claims (Jan. 23, 2023) FTC Order Requires HomeAdvisor to Pay Up To $7.2 Million and Stop Deceptively Marketing its Leads for Home Improvement Projects (Jan. 23, 2023) FTC Order Requires […]

CFPB, FTC Tackle “Dark Patterns,” Recurring Subscription Charges

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are teaming up to fight “dark patterns” and “negative option” subscription charges. The regulators are concerned about deceptive practices that mislead people into subscriptions or other recurring payments for products and services they do not want.  In a “circular” released this week, the CFPB described […]

Facial Recognition Bars Lawyers for Consumers from Events at Madison Square Garden

The New York Times carries this story  about the use of facial recognition technology to bar any lawyers working at firms who handle litigation against  MSG Entertainment from attending sporting events, or even holiday shows, at Madison Square Garden.  New York’s old law protecting theatre critics from being excluded after they panned a show has […]

A Valediction: Long-time Consumer Advocate Richard Cleland Hangs Up His Spurs

After taking his sweet time to do so, my old and good friend Rich Cleland retired from the FTC at the end of 2022. I first met Rich about 40 years ago, when he ran the great Iowa AG Tom Miller’s Consumer Protection Division and I was working for the late great Texas AG Jim […]

Meta (aka Facebook) is changing its ad algorithm to address charges that it facilitated housing discrimination

Meta is changing its ad distribution system, as required by a settlement with the US Department of Justice, to prevent discriminatory advertising in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The settlement, entered into last June, resolved a lawsuit filed in New York by DOJ last June, which alleged that Meta’s system allowed advertisers to exclude […]

Automating Bias Symposium at Cardozo Law School on January 25, 2023

We received the following announcement: Automating Bias Symposium Cardozo Law School January 25, 9:30- 4:45 Algorithmic models built using machine learning and large volumes of personal data are increasingly used to target consumers with credit offers, assess consumers’ creditworthiness, price credit, provide debt management advice to consumers, resolve credit disputes, and more generally automate the […]

FTC actions in December

The Federal Trade Commission made a few interesting announcements in late December: FTC Orders an End to Illegal Mastercard Business Tactics and Requires it to Stop Blocking Competing Debit Card Payment Networks (Dec. 23) – Mastercard will have to start providing competing networks with customer account information they need to process debit payments, reversing a […]

Wells Fargo fined $3.7 billion for illegal activity including unjust foreclosures and vehicle repossessions

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today ordered Wells Fargo Bank to pay more than $2 billion in redress to consumers and a $1.7 billion civil penalty for legal violations across several of its largest product lines. The bank’s illegal conduct led to billions of dollars in financial harm to its customers and, for thousands of […]

Op-ed: Banks fight for the right to discriminate

by Jeff Sovern Here, in the NY Daily News. My latest op-ed. Excerpt: You might not expect that in the year 2022, businesses would go to court asserting a right to discriminate. Yet that is essentially what the Chamber of Commerce and various banking groups did last month when they sued the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The […]

Chamber of Commerce and bank groups sue CFPB for using unfairness power to pursue discriminatory conduct

by Jeff Sovern As we have previously discussed, the CFPB takes the position when supervising banks that discrimination is unfair within the meaning of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. As reported by Bloomberg's Evan Weinberger, the Chamber of Commerce, the American Bankers Association, the Consumer Bankers Association, and others have now sued the CFPB in […]