Calling all public interest tech innovators and designers!

Apply for the CR IoT Design Fellowship to build a next-gen IoT product labeling system! At the grocery store, we can read and compare nutritional information, thanks to the standardized Nutrition Facts label. At big box retailers, we can review Energy Guide estimates of the annual energy consumption of appliances. What if all connected devices came with the equivalent of

Opportunity: Advise on the CR design of an IoT product labeling system

CR is currently building a next-gen IoT product labeling system to help consumers make informed decisions about the security and privacy of their IoT devices. We are seeking thought partners, advisors and mentors to help support the CR design of an IoT product label. If you’re interested in working with CR on this, drop us a line at so

Opportunity: Security Planner Part Time Researcher

We are seeking a part time researcher to help with Security Planner projects, partnerships, research, and promotion. This is a four-month remote consulting opportunity (with potential for extension) for a seasoned researcher who cares about digital privacy and security for everyday users. Time commitment is estimated at 10-15 hours per week. We pay $70/hour.   Scope: You will be supporting

Releasing Data Rights Protocol Version 0.7

Today we’re releasing v0.7 of the Data Rights Protocol (DRP) technical specification. This release represents major progress towards implementing our security model which we designed with Kevin Riggle at Complex Systems Group, as well as in consultation with our technical partners at DRP consortium member companies. The major change in the DRP 0.7 release is a move away from JSON

New Report: Future of Memory Safety

In October 2022, Consumer Reports hosted an online convening to discuss ways to encourage widespread adoption of code written in memory-safe languages. The event gave participants the opportunity to share resources related to memory safety, discuss opportunities and barriers in the security ecosystem, and to brainstorm potential solutions to memory access vulnerabilities that exist in products across the marketplace. Roughly 60

How we’re thinking about the impact of your data rights requests

Managing your privacy is time-consuming. That’s the whole reason we started Permission Slip, a service to help consumers send data rights requests to hundreds of companies. We’re constantly trying to figure out how to help everyday people get the most out of any privacy action they choose to take.What action makes an impact?Privacy actions affect each person differently. In order

Learning How U.S. Consumers Perceive and Use VPNs

Co-authored by: Roya Ensafi and Yael Grauer In March 2021, Digital Lab fellow Roya Ensafi, PhD, assistant professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, and her team launched a user survey aimed at understanding VPN users. Because this survey was promoted to Consumer Reports readers and attendees of a CR-hosted digital hygiene webinar on VPNs, we

Data Rights Protocol: 2022 Year in Review

As we approach the end of the year, we’re excited to share some updates on the progress of the Data Rights Protocol (DRP) initiative in 2022. This year we released version 0.6 of the protocol and mapped out both conformance testing and interoperability roadmaps to reach version 1.0. Our latest release includes updates to the data model and begins to

Securing a common protocol for consumer data rights requests

I started working on privacy in 2017 when I joined a payments company called Stripe as a security engineer and helped us implement compliance with the EU’S GDPR. Since then, American companies have built increasingly complex and bespoke systems in order to comply with not just the GDPR but a spreading patchwork of domestic privacy laws like California’s CCPA.Under these

Lab Notes: November 2022

We analyzed 22,000 consumer broadband bills and found that consumers are saddled with confusing bills, high prices, and lack of competitive choices CR recently unveiled findings of our massive study of 22,000 consumer broadband bills. The findings support what many consumer advocates have long argued: greater competition and choice leads to more affordable broadband options. “CR launched this initiative to

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