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Sarah Jones's blog

New York Attorney General Report Sheds Light on Massive Data Breach Crisis – But Consumers Can Do Little To Hold Corporations Accountable

With the ubiquitous use of credit cards, online purchases, and a myriad of other electronic transactions, American consumers can do little to prevent their personal and financial information from ending up on the Corporate Cloud. Instead, it’s up to the corporations to protect consumers’ information – but the almost daily reports of data breaches suggest that they are failing to take necessary precautions.

Consumer Groups Call Out Microsoft for Use of Forced Arbitration

This week, Microsoft hosted its Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, DC. Microsoft has long used forced arbitration against its customers, so a coalition of DC-based consumer advocacy groups crashed the convention to educate the public and attendees about this abusive practice.

Military Consumer Protection Day Renews Call To Restore Servicemembers’ Access To Justice

Today, a coalition of state Attorneys General, government entities, and advocates for servicemembers and consumers will observe Military Consumer Protection Day.

Victims of eBay’s Massive Data Breach May Never Have Their Day in Court

eBay, the billion-dollar online auction company, has been hit with the second largest data breach in history, with more than 145 million users affected, the New York Times reported on Thursday. Although eBay insists that users’ financial information is safe, it confirmed that hackers were able to steal personal information including names, birth dates, email addresses, and passwords which could be used for identity theft. 

Unfortunately, victims may find that they cannot hold the tech giant accountable in court because of a forced arbitration clause buried in eBay's terms of service

Tech companies like eBay use forced arbitration clauses to evade privacy laws because they allow the company to kick violated users out of court and instead funnel them into a rigged forum run by an arbitrator selected by the company. This arbitrator is not required to have any legal training and does not even have to follow the law.

Why is General Mills Trying to Hide Behind Forced Arbitration?

General Mills, owner of grocery staples including Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, has quietly updated its electronic terms of service to include a forced arbitration clause that will eliminate many of its customers’ rights to hold the corporation accountable in court. The April 2 change means that people who purchase General Mills products with coupons, turn in box tops or even just visit their website won’t be able to bring the corporation to court.

Gender Wage Gap Will Continue Until Forced Arbitration is Stopped

Dawn Souto-Coons loved working for Sterling Jewelers and rose to become her store’s top seller, but her passion for the job waned when she discovered that her male colleagues – who had no previous retail jewelry experience—were being paid $1.50 more per hour than the store’s female employees. As it turned out, Dawn and her female coworkers were victims of the retailer’s rampant and illegal pay discrimination. 

U.S. Surgeon General Applauds ADAO Supporters for Global Fight to End Asbestos Diseases

On April 4-6, 2014, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) held its 10th Annual Asbestos Awareness Conference in Washington, D.C. The three-day event brought together people living with asbestos diseases and the families of those who lost their battles, as well as experts in environmental science, advocacy, public health, and medicine.

Access To Justice For Service Members

When our service members are deployed they should not have to worry about burdens at home, such as losing their jobs or suffering abuses and frauds by financial service providers. Although several federal laws exist to protect them, including the Service member Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and the Military Lending Act (MLA), an alarming number of our service members come home to discover that they are unable to enforce these rights because of legal maneuvering that allows corporations to evade these laws. 

House Hearing Confirms “Chemicals in Commerce Act” is as Dangerous as the Toxins it Covers

On Wednesday, March 12 the U.S. House of Representatives held a hearing to discuss draft legislation entitled the Chemicals in Commerce Act which, if enacted, would revise the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to eviscerate state and federal laws that protect Americans from dangerous chemicals and grant immunity to the chemical industry.  

House Committee To Hold Hearing on Poisonous TSCA Reform Bill

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a hearing on draft legislation entitled the “Chemicals in Commerce Act” which would eviscerate public health safeguards, eliminate state laws that protect citizens from toxins and grant immunity to the chemical industry when it poisons and kills Americans. 

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