New York Times: The Government Protects Our Food and Cars. Why Not Our Data?. “…the United States is virtually the only developed nation without a comprehensive consumer data protection law and an independent agency to enforce it. Instead, Americans have to rely on the Federal Trade Commission, an overstretched agency with limited powers, to police privacy as a side hustle. The regulatory void has left Americans at the mercy of digital services that have every reason to exploit our personal information and little incentive to safeguard it.”
Rolling Stone: How a Government Agency’s Offbeat Twitter Memes Landed in the Library of Congress. “In September 2016, Joseph Galbo put a baby in a forcefield. It was the second day of Baby Safety Month, and Galbo, the social media specialist for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, had gotten the OK from his director to try out a new way of communicating to the American public the best ways to protect a newborn. The photo he posted had the goofy aesthetic of a slapdash Photoshop job — a smiling baby with a glowing aura nestled in the center of a blue orb — while the CPSC’s logo at the bottom lent the image the added feel of a low-budget PSA.” Gloriously weird.
New York Times: Consumer Bureau’s Complaints Database Is ‘Here to Stay,’ Director Says. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will continue to publish its database of consumer complaints about financial companies, ending — for now — a battle over public access to one of the agency’s most powerful tools.”
This launched in late July but I missed it. From SGS (Standard Global Services): SGS Launches New Product Recalls Online Platform. “The platform, which launches on July 12, generates a searchable database of all unsafe product notifications compiled by official surveillance authorities operating in the European Union (RAPEX and RASFF) and United States (CPSC and FDA); with data from Australia and Canada to be incorporated into the site later this year.”
Ohio Attorney General: AG Yost Launches New Tool to Help Ohio Consumers. “Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost today announced the launch of a new online tool to help Ohioans gauge the reputations of businesses and steer clear of those with problematic pasts….The searchable database houses civil lawsuits and criminal indictments filed by the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Section and its Economic Crimes Unit since 2013.”
Reuters: New U.S. consumer watchdog chief to continue review of complaints database, fair lending. “The new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will continue with reviews, begun by her predecessor, of its public complaints database and how the agency enforces discriminatory lending laws, she told Reuters.”
CNBC: Credit reporting firm Equifax says data breach could potentially affect 143 million US consumers. “Equifax, which supplies credit information and other information services, said Thursday that a data breach could have potentially affected 143 million consumers in the United States. The population of the U.S. was about 324 million as of Jan. 1, 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which means the Equifax incident affects a huge portion of the United States.”