October 11, 2022

Lab Notes: September 2022

Ben Moskowitz

Director, Digital Lab at Consumer Reports

Buyer AwareConsumer Reports releases new book on consumer power

Last week, Buyer Aware, CR’s playbook for consumer power was officially released. You can click here to learn more about the book and its digital resource website that shows consumers how to make their time online safer and push for rule changes that require fairness in the digital world.

Opting out of cookies may not stop websites from tracking you

A CR investigation found that companies may be showing you targeted ads even after you opt out of tracking on their websites. To find out what happens when you opt out of cookies to prevent ad tracking, CR selected 21 websites to test and send out an army of custom bots to opt out of cookies. CR found that some of the websites and their advertising partners continued tracking the bot with targeted ads even after CR had opted out. The story also provides information on additional steps you can take to limit ad tracking.

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Next week is the start of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and Consumer Reports will have fresh content and new perspectives to share on the state of cybersecurity. CR is teaming up with Aspen Digital, a program of the Aspen Institute, to deliver a new report that will examine Americans’ online security and privacy behaviors. Be on the lookout for more updates throughout the month.

Consumer Reports continues the push for stronger antitrust rules

CR praised the House for passing the bipartisan Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act. The bill would increase funding to the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, and include provisions that would increase merger filing fees for the largest deals. Sumit Sharma, senior researcher for tech competition at Consumer Reports said, “It is great to see this bipartisan effort to bolster the capabilities of our antitrust agencies. Consumers depend on these agencies to ensure markets are fair, competitive, and responsive to their needs.”

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