Grants

Consumer Reports, Inc.

To build and apply tools and research methodologies to map the collection, manipulation, and sharing of consumer data across three industriesСIoT, automotive, and data brokersСand provide consumers with information to protect their privacy and security

  • Amount $1,002,500
  • City Yonkers, NY
  • Investigator Justin Brookman
  • Year 2019
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program New Media

This grant supports an ongoing initiative by Consumer Reports to empower consumer choices of products and services by conducting research, developing tools, and providing accurate, easy-to-understand reporting on how companies and products collect and use consumer data. Led by Justin Brookman, Director of Consumer Privacy and Technology Policy, Consumer Reports will engage researchers and technologists over the next two years to build tools and construct research methodologies to map the collection, manipulation, and sharing of consumer data across three pivotal industries: the Internet of Things (devices in our homes, such as smart thermostats and other internet-connected appliances); automobiles (geolocation data, sensors); and data brokers (second and third parties who collect and sell information about consumers). Grant funds will support a series of dedicated fellowships for technologists and other digital experts who will help create new tools and research methodologies with the goal of creating state-of-the-art testing capacity that Consumer Reports will use to generate insights into how companies and products in these three spaces collect and use data. These insights will then be made public through Consumer ReportsХ impartial, evidence-driven journalism, which will aim both to improve consumersХ ability to choose products effectively and create incentives for market participants in these industries to improve and make more transparent their data collection and use policies. К

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