Lab Notes: October 2021

CR’s Digital Lab is working to make it easier to exercise your data rights

New CR investigation finds major issues with credit score apps

  • Our investigation into five credit score apps found that these services can charge unnecessary fees, don’t always present the scores used by lenders, and pose unnecessary privacy risks. “Congress should give Americans unlimited access to their credit reports and reliable credit scores, so they have an accurate picture of their credit standing without incurring extra costs,” said Syed Ejaz, a financial policy analyst at CR. Read more about our investigation in The New York Times and Fast Company. CR is also mobilizing people to support legislation so consumers can get reliable scores and credit reports at any time, without being charged.

What you’re giving up when you let your car insurer track you In exchange for discounts

  • Let your auto insurer monitor your driving for a discount? It’s a privacy trade-off that millions of drivers will weigh as telematics programs become more widely available. See our investigation which includes an interactive summary of the kinds of data each insurer is collecting.

CR names three Digital Lab Fellows for 2021-2022

  • CR named three public interest technology researchers as Digital Lab Fellows. The 2021-2022 cohort is focused on a range of digital marketplace issues from improving the security of connected home devices, to monitoring online ads for scams and manipulation, to advising consumers on the trustworthiness of new digital financial services. The three Fellows include Franziska Roesner, Associate Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington; Ruby Thelot, Graduate Student, Parsons School of Design; and Danny Yuxing Huang, Assistant Professor at New York University Tandon School of Engineering. The Fellowship is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

Consumer labels for the digital world

  • CR partnered with New America’s Open Technology Institute for a two-part panel exploring how successful consumer labeling systems have been used across a wide range of industries, and how new proposals for consumer labeling in the digital world can provide similar benefits. You can watch the panel discussions here.

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