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I've Been Mugged Blog



Consumer views and news since 2007 about identity theft, privacy, and corporate responsibility -- by George Jenkins



Updated: 2018-02-21T11:30:00-05:00

 



Investigative Report By Senator Warren Details Failures By Equifax From Massive Data Breach

2018-02-21T11:40:43-05:00

Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (Democrat - Massachusetts) issued a report about her office's investigation in to the massive Equifax data breach. Key findings from the report: "Equifax Set up a Flawed System to Prevent and Mitigate Data Security Problems. The breach was made possible because Equifax adopted...



I Approved This Facebook Message — But You Don’t Know That

2018-02-19T09:54:23-05:00

[Editor's note: today's guest post, by reporters at ProPublica, is the latest in a series about advertising and social networking sites. It is reprinted with permission.] By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries, ProPublica Hundreds of federal political ads — including those from major players such as the Democratic National Committee and the Donald...



Advertising Agency Paid $2 Million To Settle Deceptive Advertising Charges

2018-02-12T09:30:00-05:00

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Minneapolis-based Marketing Architects, Inc. (MAI): "... an advertising agency that created and disseminated allegedly deceptive radio ads for weight-loss products marketed by its client, Direct Alternatives, has agreed to pay $2 million to the Federal Trade Commission and State of Maine Attorney...



CFPB Backs Off Investigating The Massive Equifax Breach

2018-02-12T11:09:37-05:00

MarketWatch reported on Monday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has: "... scaled back its investigation into a data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax Reuters reported Monday. The CFPB's interim director Mick Mulvaney, appointed by the Trump administration, has not followed "routine steps" that would be involved in...



Fresenius Medical Care To Pay $3.5 Million For 5 Small Data Breaches During 2012

2018-02-02T13:58:13-05:00

Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. has agreed to a $3.5 million settlement agreement regarding five small data breaches the Massachusetts-based healthcare organization experienced during 2012. Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. does business under the name Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA). This represents one of the largest HIPAA settlements ever...



Fitness Device Usage By U.S. Soldiers Reveal Sensitive Location And Movement Data

2018-01-30T15:21:08-05:00

Useful technology can often have unintended consequences. The Washington Post reported about an interactive map: "... posted on the Internet that shows the whereabouts of people who use fitness devices such as Fitbit also reveals highly sensitive information about the locations and activities of soldiers at U.S. military bases, in...



U.S. Senate Moves Closer To Vote On Net Neutrality

2018-01-09T18:30:00-05:00

Yesterday, The Hill reported: "A Senate bill that would reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to repeal net neutrality received its 30th co-sponsor on Monday, ensuring it will receive a vote on the Senate floor. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) announced her support for the bill on Twitter, putting it...



In The News: Net Neutrality And I've Been Mugged Blog

2017-12-22T19:40:23-05:00

On Sunday, December 17, 2017, WERS Radio (88.9 FM), a college radio station in Boston, broadcast on Sunday an interview about net neutrality. The persons interviewed included myself and Nina Vyedin, of Indivisible Somerville. You can listen to the interview on SoundCloud. The interviewer, Jonathon House, and I met during...



Net Neutrality: Massachusetts Joins Multi-State Lawsuit Against FCC. What Next?

2017-12-20T15:20:25-05:00

The Attorney General (AG) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is suing the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after the FCC voted on December 14th to repeal existing net neutrality rules protecting consumers. Maura Healey, the Massachusetts AG, announced that her office has joined a multi-state lawsuit with the New York...



FCC Action To Kill Net Neutrality Will Likely Hurt Public Libraries, The Poor, And The Disabled

2017-12-18T12:39:14-05:00

Jim Neal, the president of the American Library Association, released a statement condemning the December 14th vote by the Republican-led U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to kill net neutrality protections for internet users: "The majority of the FCC has just dealt a blow to equitable access to online information and...



More Year-End Considerations Given The Coming Likely Republican Tax Plan

2017-12-15T13:19:00-05:00

A prior post discussed the questionable benefits and year-end considerations for middle-class taxpayers of the likely Republican tax reform plan making its way through Congress. The likely tax plan includes lower tax rates paired with many deductions eliminated. The professional who prepares my taxes provided another warning: "Dear clients: It...



Doug Jones Wins In Alabama, Net Neutrality, And The FCC

2017-12-14T14:34:12-05:00

[7:30 am EST] Congratulations to Doug Jones and his supporters for a stunning victory Tuesday in a special election in Alabama for the open U.S. Senate seat. His victory speech is available online. Late last month, Doug Jones tweeted this: I strongly support #NetNeutrality and believe every Alabamian should have...



Was Your Identity Information Misused To Submit Fake Comments To The FCC About Net Neutrality?

2017-12-12T21:36:28-05:00

After creating a webpage specifically to help New York State residents determine if their identifies were misued for net neutrality comments, Attorney General Schneiderman announced: "In the last five days alone, over 3,200 people have reported misused identities to the Attorney General’s office, including nearly 350 New Yorkers from across...



Governors and Federal Agencies Are Blocking Nearly 1,300 Accounts on Facebook and Twitter

2017-12-11T09:00:00-05:00

[Editor's note: today's guest blog post, by the reporters at ProPublica, highlights a little-known practice by some elected officials to block their constituents on social networking sites. Today's post is reprinted with permission.] By Leora Smith and Derek Kravitz - ProPublica Amanda Farber still doesn’t know why Maryland Gov. Larry...



Photos: December 7 Demonstration In Boston To Keep Net Neutrality

2017-12-11T13:19:11-05:00

Demonstrations occurred nationwide on December 7 to save net neutrality. Citizens took to the streets to keep our internet services open. About 200 persons attended the demonstration in Boston on Boylston Street. It was encouraging to meet several students from local universities participating in the event. They understand the issue...



Futurism: Your Life Without Net Neutrality Protections

2017-12-07T15:52:28-05:00

You've probably heard that Ajit Pai, the Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is leading his agency towards a vote on December 14, 2017 to kill net neutrality. How will consumers' online lives change? Futurism described what your online life will be like without net neutrality: "You’re at...



Lower Tax Rate And Fewer Deductions. Questionable Help For Middle Class Taxpayers

2017-12-14T11:45:50-05:00

Yesterday, I received an alert from the professional that prepares my income taxes: "Dear Clients, I know that Congress has not yet finalized the new tax law, but it looks pretty certain that Certain Miscellaneous Deductions will no longer be allowed in 2018. If you want to know if that...



'Tens Of Thousands' Of Fake Comments Submitted. New York State Attorney General Demands Answers From the FCC

2017-11-24T14:56:27-05:00

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, the attorney general for the New York State sent an open letter to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about fake comments submitted to the agency's online comments system. Eric T. Schneiderman directed his letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. It read in part: "Recent...



FCC Approved Plan To Allow Telecom Companies To Block Robocalls

2017-11-21T16:08:45-05:00

Last week, commissioners at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to allow telecommunications companies to block automated phone calls, known as robocalls, by scammers. Unwanted calls, including illegal robocalls, are a leading complaint by consumers. Some experts estimated that consumers in the United States received about 2.4 billion robocalls...



Why The IRS Gave Equifax A No-Bid Contract Extension

2017-10-06T12:16:11-04:00

You've probably heard the news. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gave a no-bid contract to Equifax, even after knowing about the credit reporting agency's massive data breach and arguably lackadaisical data security approaches by management. Why would the IRS do this? The contract's synopsis in the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO)...