National Consumers League

Pages tagged "technology"

Carpenter v. United States: Impacts on privacy legislation

The U.S. Supreme Court decision last week in Carpenter v. United States will shape the relationship consumers have with their wireless devices and the services they use every day for years to come. In a 5-4 decision, the Court held that by obtaining cell-site records, the U.S. government performed a search. By doing so without a warrant, this search was judged unconstitutional, violating petitioner Timothy Carpenter’s Fourth Amendment rights and reversing two previous decisions.


The differential impact of tariffs on Chinese tech

Earlier this spring, the Trump Administration announced plans to follow up its tariffs on imported steel and aluminum with 25 percent tariffs on approximately $60 billion worth of imports from China. News about a potential “hold” notwithstanding, one area that hasn’t gotten enough attention is the impact of these potential tariffs on the digital divide generally, and low-income consumers and communities of color specifically.


The promise and peril of always-on ad filtering

Last year, we examined whether the growth of ad blocking was partly a logical response to consumers’ desire to reduce their data security risk. The catalyst for that blog post was Google’s announcement that it intended to include ad filtering-by-default in its Chrome browser, the most popular browser on the market. Earlier this year, that promise became a reality as Google rolled out an update to Chrome that included the ad filtering function.


Guide to good med smartphone apps

92_med_apps.jpgThree out of four Americans struggle to take their medications as directed, and this costs our healthcare system $300 billion every year! New smartphone apps can help consumers -- especially those with chronic conditions or multiple medications -- take their medication as directed and become healthier. These apps can be a great tool to help you keep track of your meds, but not all medication apps are alike and some are more useful than others.


Fraud warning: Malware scams locking computers for ransom

92_computer_lock.jpgCrooks are targeting consumers and businesses with sophisticated technology that, spread through email and difficult-to-detect downloads, encrypts the contents of a hard drive, making it impossible to use one’s files. Hackers target unsuspecting users and then claim that their data is being held for ransom -- and, once a consumer pays, there's no guarantee that the data will be unlocked.


Target data breach a wake-up call for retailers, policymakers

92_creditcard.jpgAmericans assume that, when they shop, their personal financial information will be kept private and away from identity thieves. Unfortunately, that is not always the case, as evidenced by the more than 4,000 data breaches that have been reported since 2005 -- an average of more than one a day over the last nine years. The latest headline-making breach involving the mega retailer Target is making many of us wonder just how safe our data is.


Smartphone theft a 'national epidemic'?

92_shopping_apps.jpgThe explosion in smartphone use has put the Internet in the palms of consumers’ hands. Consumers use smartphones every day; whether it is for work, to pay their bills, or to find out who “that guy” from “that movie” is. Now imagine that little device vanishes. Might someone use the personal and private information on your phone against you?

 


Worrying trends emerging in mobile text messaging and malware

Several new trends in fraud perpetrated via mobile phones are making it more important than ever for consumers to educate themselves about these next-generation scams.


Parents: Take control over your children's use of technology

From smart phones to tablet computers, to the hundreds of channels and thousands of on-demand video offerings on TV, consumers have never had more options for how to spend their time. For parents, however, the amount of content that is out there can often lead to anxiety – about what their children watch on TV, what Web sites they are visiting and who they are talking to from behind all those electronic screens. So what’s a concerned parent to do?


Add Twitter to your customer service arsenal

Consumers exhausted by customer service phone lines - and the muzak they're subject to while waiting to speak with a real live human - are increasingly turning to an alternative: Twitter.


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