Robert Couse-Baker

Sen. Al Franken Has A Few Questions About Pokemon Go’s Access To Personal Data

As people wander around with their smartphones out (but don’t drive) playing Pokemon Go, some people have concerns about the data that the game collects. After all, it’s installed on our smartphones, which are full of very personal information, and gathers information about real-world locations that we visit. That combination of information could be dangerous in the wrong hands, and Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is here to make sure users of new technology stay safe, just as he did when the Oculus Rift was released. [More]

New Bill Could Stop Cable & Phone Companies From Taking Away Customers’ Right To Sue

Kat Northern Lights Man

Five years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with AT&T, ruling that companies could use a couple paragraphs of legalese buried deep in unchangeable user agreements to strip customers of their right to file a lawsuit. An upcoming piece of legislation seeks to restore that right for telecom customers. [More]

Sen. Al Franken Has A Few Questions About Oculus Rift’s Privacy Policy

Sen. Al Franken Has A Few Questions About Oculus Rift’s Privacy Policy

While we’ve been talking about virtual reality for decades, the current slate of VR headsets marks the first time we’ve seen anything close to widespread adoption of the technology. And when one of the leading companies in the field also happens to be owned by a company that makes billions of dollars tracking your online behavior, you can’t fault people for being concerned about privacy.
[More]

(afagen)

Bill Aims To Restore Consumers’ Legal Rights Stripped Away By Supreme Court Rulings

In recent years, a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly sided against consumers’ access to the justice system, concluding that a 90-year-old law gives companies the authority to effectively skirt the legal system by preempting customers’ lawsuits. That’s why some legislators have decided it’s time to change that law. [More]

(josepqr)

Sen. Al Franken Calls For Federal Investigation Into Apple Music

In response to concerns arising from the recent launch of Apple Music, U.S. Senator Al Franken called on both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the possibility that the tech giant may be creating an anticompetitive environment in the streaming music market. [More]

Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Senators Ask PayPal To Change Obnoxious RoboCall Clause In User Agreement

Two weeks ago, we told you how PayPal’s revised user agreement expanded the company’s already-intrusive existing permission to send pre-recorded robocalls and spam texts, and how the company gave users no apparent way to opt out. Then the FCC chimed in, telling the company that its terms appear to violate federal law. Now, several U.S. Senators are asking PayPal to rethink its terms before they go into effect on July 1. [More]

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

58 Senators Urge CFPB To Create Rules Against Forced Arbitration Clauses In Financial Products

A month after legislation was introduced to eliminate mandatory arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, civil rights and antitrust cases, a coalition of 58 lawmakers and several consumer advocate groups are urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to take things a step further by protecting consumers from forced arbitration clauses in financial services contracts. [More]

(Brian Turner)

Arbitration Fairness Act Would Reinstate Consumers’ Right To Sue In Court

 

Companies have been taking away your right to sue them when they screw up for years, using small, hidden clauses to require mandatory binding arbitration instead. After years of consumer groups voicing their concern over this anti-consumer practice, there’s finally a new bill in congress that proposes to bring back your right to sue.

[More]

(Themarcogoon49)

Upcoming Online Airfare Comparison Changes Raise Privacy, Discrimination Concerns

A group of senators raised concerns Tuesday that a new airfare comparison shopping system currently being developed could lead to unfair discrimination practices based on information the airlines receive from customers. [More]

Sen. Al Franken: Still Not Enough Competition For Cable & Internet Access

Sen. Al Franken: Still Not Enough Competition For Cable & Internet Access

While many opponents of the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger were setting off fireworks last Friday to celebrate the defeat of this deal that would have concentrated nearly 60% of the nation’s high-speed broadband accounts under one company, realists among us are pointing out that the end of that ill-fated engagement does nothing to change the already dismal competition landscape in many markets. [More]

Senators Urge Regulators To Block Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner Cable

Senators Urge Regulators To Block Comcast Acquisition of Time Warner Cable

As we head into the final stretch of regulatory review for the pending $45 billion of Comcast and Time Warner Cable — and with the Dept. of Justice possibly prepping to block the deal — a group of U.S. Senators has written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and FCC Chair Tom Wheeler urging them to prevent these two companies from getting hitched. [More]

Mike Mozart

Franken: Net Neutrality Win Means “We Might Just Be Able To Stop” Comcast/TWC Deal

The Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is not going as smoothly as either company had hoped. With each passing day, the FCC seems less likely to rubber-stamp their approval, and rumor has it that the Justice Department is leaning against the corporate marriage. With momentum building, merger opponents are taking the chance to push back even harder, and that includes U.S. Senator Al Franken. [More]

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

Al Franken: Ted Cruz Has No Idea What Net Neutrality Is

Last week, Sen. Ted Cruz from Texas attempted to slam the notion of net neutrality, dubbing it “Obamacare for the Internet” and claiming that it would result in prices and services being set by the government. But over the weekend, Minnesota Sen. Al Franken called Cruz’s claim “baloney,” pointing out the fact that we’ve had net neutrality for years and cable companies have been doing just fine. [More]

Sen. Al Franken Calls Net Neutrality “The Free Speech Issue Of Our Time”

Sen. Al Franken Calls Net Neutrality “The Free Speech Issue Of Our Time”

While FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler works to make Verizon’s skewed vision of net neutrality real, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota has made an impassioned plea to the American people to stand up against the notion that deep-pocketed companies should have better and faster access to Internet users than everyone else. [More]

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

Media Companies’ Silence On Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger Speaks Volumes

While numerous advocacy and public interest groups have publicly come out to declare their opposition to the merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, those companies whose business will most directly be affected by the tie-up — broadcasters, streaming services, production studios, advertisers — have remained relatively silent. But it’s not because they don’t have an opinion on the matter. [More]

Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Franken: Media Companies Are Afraid To Speak Out Against Comcast

Minnesota Senator Al Franken has made no effort to hide his opposition to the pending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Now the actor/writer-turned-lawmaker is saying he wishes others would be more open about their feelings on the controversial deal. [More]

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

Sen. Franken Calls Comcast/Time Warner Cable Merger A “Terrible Deal For Consumers”

While Comcast has financial ties to numerous important members of the House and Senate, there are a few folks on Capitol Hill who have no problem speaking out against the cable company’s plan to expand its domination of the pay-TV and Internet business by acquiring Time Warner Cable and its millions of customers. Sen. Al Franken has already expressed concern about the merger, but yesterday he made his position on the matter very clear. [More]

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

Franken: Comcast’s Previous Behavior Doesn’t Bode Well For Time Warner Cable Deal

When Comcast finally goes before lawmakers and regulators to make its case for a merger with Time Warner Cable, it will likely promise a pile of concessions and policy changes in order to paint a rosier picture of the future. But Senator Al Franken of Minnesota is looking to the past, pointing out concerns with the cable company’s spotty track record. [More]