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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

In Wake of OPM’s Poor Response to Data Breach, MASSPIRG Launches Public Education Campaign for the more than 45,000 Federal Employees in Massachusetts

In light of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) poor handling of data breaches reported earlier this year, MASSPIRG staff and volunteers did a lunch hour “literature drop” today, handing out identity theft tips to federal employees at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston. 

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News Release | MASSPIRG | Consumer Protection

In Wake of OPM’s Poor Response to Data Breach, MASSPIRG Launches Public Education Campaign for the more than 45,000 Federal Employees in Massachusetts

In light of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) poor handling of data breaches reported earlier this year, MASSPIRG staff and volunteers did a lunch hour “literature drop” today, handing out identity theft tips to federal employees at the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston. 

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

TIPS FOR OPM & OTHER DATA BREACH VICTIMS-WHAT CAN YOU DO TO AVOID IDENTITY THEFT & OTHER HARMS? | Janet Domenitz

The latest breach of up to 18 million or more federal government employee files held by U.S. OPM is an example of everything that's wrong with data security and data breach response mechanisms today. Agencies and companies hold too much information for too long and don't protect it adequately. Then, they wait months before informing victims. Then, they make things worse by offering weak, short-term help such as credit monitoring. Our main message: your best protection against identity theft is the security freeze, not the often-offered, under-achieving credit monitoring.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

THE MORE I HEAR ABOUT OPM DATA BREACH, THE LESS I KNOW, EXCEPT THIS: IT'S BAD | Ed Mierzwinski

Was it 4 million, 14 million or 18 million records breached (how many times) (likely) by Chinese hackers? Whose fault was it? The USOPM director says no one's. Really? Perhaps the worst data breach ever raises lots of questions, but I haven't heard any good answers. Federal employees, their families, their friends and their neighbors -- because all of them could be victims -- deserve better answers, just as they deserve better service than USOPM's credit monitoring provider is giving them.

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Blog Post | Solid Waste

Janet Domenitz's testimony in favor of banning plastic bags | Janet Domenitz

The proliferation of plastic bag use has been a disaster for the environment of Massachusetts, as well as the rest of the world. Luckily, there's a simple solution: banning plastic bags. MASSPIRG's Janet Domenitz and Emily Olson testified before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture in favor of a number of bills to monitor, limit, and ban plastic bag use in Massachusetts. 

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Media Hit | Transportation

Smart Phones: Making Buses Cool Again?

Article highlights our report, "A New Way to Go: The Apps, Maps, and New Technologies that are Giving More Americans Freedom to Drive Less."

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News Release | MASSPIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Study Finds Technology Enabling Americans to Drive Less

Vehicle Sharing Services, Transit Apps and Wi-Fi Contribute to National Driving Decline; Policy Needs to Catch Up

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Sovereign near top of regulator’s list of bank complaints

Two of the region’s biggest banks are near the top of a list of the most complained-about banks in the country.

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3 Boston area banks ranked among worst on complaints

New MASSPIRG Education Fund Report report ranks banks' record in generating and resolving consumer complaints. 

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Trouble In Toyland

Toys are safer than ever before, thanks to decades of work by product safety advocates and parents and the leadership of Congress, state legislatures and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Nevertheless, as parents venture into crowded malls this holiday season, they should remain vigilant about often hidden hazards posed by toys on store shelves.

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Student Debt and Consumer Costs

Higher education in America continues to be critical for both individual success and the economic and political health of our country. While college attendance has grown over the past two decades, state appropriations and federal aid have failed to keep pace with the rising cost of college.

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Report | Health Care

Paying the Price

Millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans struggle to afford the medicines they need, even forgoing medically necessary drugs when prices are out of reach. When discussing the high cost of prescription drugs, politicians often focus on the financial burden carried by senior citizens.

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2006 Congressional Score Card

The 2006 Scorecard looks at the most important public interest votes taken between February 9, 2005 and February 1, 2006 in the U.S. Congress. These votes determined the direction of federal policy on critical issues ranging from environmental preservation to health care to consumer protections.

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Paying Back, Not Giving Back

American colleges and universities play a pivotal role in training the nation's citizens, leaders, innovators, public servants and educators. In today's economy, a college education is more desirable than ever before - millions of high school students strive for its promise and the benefits it brings for both the individual and society.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony in support of An Act to Reducing Automobile Costs and Premiums in the Commonwealth SB 522 | Deirdre Cummings

The number one complaint from consumers about their auto insurance is the high cost. The blame for the high cost belongs to Massachusetts’s ultra-high accident rate, as measured by claims data reported by the Insurance Research Council.* Massachusetts has the dubious distinction of having the highest accident rate in the country by far – an astounding 40% higher than the state with the second-highest rate, Rhode Island.  Even improving our worst-in-the-nation accident rate to second worst could drop our premiums by 20%, or nearly $200 on average per car per year, producing about $800 million in statewide savings each year.

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Blog Post | Safe Energy

TESTIMONY In support of An Act Relative to Expanding Energy Efficiency in the Commonwealth | Janet Domenitz

As a statewide, member supported, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization, our agenda is to promote public health, consumer protection, and citizens’ voices in a process often dominated by powerful special interests. This bill, which would expand energy efficiency standards in the Commonwealth, is exactly the kind of solution we need to our energy problems.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Opposition to bills which would weaken or eliminate the food store item pricing law | Deirdre Cummings

I urge you to oppose these measures which undermine consumers’ clout in the market place. Now, more than ever, as we are barraged with more and more sophisticated marketing strategies we should be focused on measures to enhance consumer information – and not diminish it.

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Blog Post | Budget

Testomony is support of Transparency in State Revenues and Expenditures | Deirdre Cummings

The Commonwealth should become a leader in budget transparency. Doing so will help rebuild the frayed public trust in government. It will help us make better choices together about investments in our community.

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Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Testimony In Support of a Car Buyer's Bill of Rights | Elizabeth Weyant

House Bill 242 would protect consumers from deceptive lending and marketing practices, and give consumers more rights when purchasing a car. We hope you will pass this bill favorably from the committee.

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Priority Action

We're teaming up with big restaurant chains to stop the overuse of antibiotics on factory farms. Call on KFC to stop selling meat raised on routine antibiotics.

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