Consumer Protection, Freedom, Government & Politics, Privacy

How to find out what the government knows about you

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The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has been around since 1967. This law gives U.S. citizens the broad right to access information from all federal government agencies. What interesting info can you get your hands on?

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Consumer Protection, News

Lots of people got food poisoning this summer. Why?

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As fall moves into full bluster, we look back on the summer months with wistful fondness. But there are some aspects we’ll not miss: the summer of 2015 was defined by a remarkably high amount of disturbing news for those of us who eat food.

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Consumer Protection, Crime & Lawsuits, Money

Can you go to jail for being in debt?


Once upon a time, if you couldn’t pay a debt, you would find yourself passing the days in a debtors’ prison—or even auctioned off to a life of indentured servitude. A lot of men and women of renown found themselves serving time in jail for failing to pay debt, including several heroes of the American Revolution. This was one of the factors leading to the abolition of debtors’ prisons in the United States by the 1830s. But in recent years, there has been a resurgence in jail sentences involving everything from unpaid traffic tickets to child support and credit card debt. Should you be worried?

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Business, Consumer Protection, Healthcare, News, Safety

‘Female Viagra’: A lawsuit waiting to happen?

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Not only might Addyi not work as intended for many women, but the drug might also be dangerous, as it is strongly contraindicated with alcohol. Side effects from this interaction may include a drop in blood pressure and fainting. Since for many women a romantic evening and a glass of wine go hand in hand, this risk could pose a real problem for patients who want the benefits of flibanserin but don’t want to give up alcohol indefinitely. But what happens if you take Addyi—or any other pharmaceutical drug—and have an adverse reaction? Can you sue your doctor or the FDA? What do you need to make a solid case? We spoke to attorney Mark L. Taylor at Powers Taylor in Dallas, Texas, to find out.

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Business, Consumer Protection, Money, News, Technology

Uber and the future of employment


On Tuesday, ride-sharing behemoth Uber filed an appeal against the certification of a class-action lawsuit that represents a direct shot across the bow at the company’s business model. The final outcome could have far-reaching impact on employment law in the United States.

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Consumer Protection, Marriage, News, Privacy

Ashley Madison customer data has now been exposed

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It’s not a good day for online cheaters. On Tuesday night, making good on a threat they’d issued several weeks ago, a collection of hackers calling themselves “Impact Team” have now released the personal data of roughly 37 million customers from the dating website Ashley Madison.

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Consumer Protection, Freedom, Rights

If you smoke pot, you can still get fired

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Federal law says that pot is as dangerous as heroin, more addictive than cocaine, and has no accepted medical purpose. Yet 23 states and DC have legalized medical marijuana in some form. Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and D.C. have also de-criminalized recreational marijuana use. For the average worker – and their employers – this federal-state law paradox can have huge impact in the workplace.

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Consumer Protection, Privacy, Technology

Is your Facebook account really yours?

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Who owns your Facebook account? You or your employer? The answer may not be as obvious as you think. Several courts have held that our social media pages, which most of us consider personal, could belong to our employers or new business owners after a bankruptcy.

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Consumer Protection, Freedom, News, Privacy, Rights

Online anonymity vs. the First Amendment

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We’ve all been there: you wait an hour for a table, put up with the snide hostess, wait another 30 minutes to order, and send your food back twice. Then, after not getting enough to eat due to a miniscule-sized portion, you find yourself staring down at a mediocre slice of cheese pizza from the much-more-humble establishment down the street. And you missed your movie. In days of old, bad experiences went as far as conversations could carry them, which means they typically fell by the wayside, allowing sub-par restaurants and service providers to operate as usual without much notice or consequence. Today, however, online reviews of everything—from lawyers to lunchrooms to laundromats—can be quickly posted on sites like Avvo, Yelp, or Google.

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Consumer Protection, Divorce, Marriage, Privacy

Online cheaters—and the rest of us—are not safe

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Ashley Madison, a dating and social media website that caters to married people looking to engage in adulterous relationships, provides users with a place to chat, exchange photos, discuss fantasies, etc. But there’s a problem. Earlier this week, Ashley Madison was hacked by the so-called “Impact Team,” a group of hackers attempting to extort the company, but not for money. They want Ashley Madison to shut down, and they are threatening to expose its users’ private information, including addresses and credit card information—unless, that is, the site disappears from the Internet.

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