Buyer Aware: Harnessing Our Consumer Power for a Safe, Fair, and Transparent Marketplace (Hardcover)
In an era of deregulation when consumers have never been more vulnerable to corporate surveillance, unsafe food, and dangerously faulty products, the president and CEO of Consumer Reports gives us a playbook to put the power back in our hands.
You've been getting ripped off. The rules that have protected consumers for decades are failing. Companies are spying on us. Many of the products we once trusted are dangerous and failing at alarming rates. Whether we are buying a crib, a small appliance, an iPhone app, or shopping for car insurance, it's become harder than ever to know whether the choices we make in the marketplace are putting us at risk-either from physical harm or the abuse of our personal data by hackers or corporations. This is intolerable. It's wrong. And we don't have to put up with it anymore. Marta L. Tellado, the president and CEO of Consumer Reports, has been an advocate for consumers for decades. In Buyer Aware, Tellado shows you the steps you can take to protect yourself from predatory business practices, and how to exert your inherent power as a consumer to spur politicians and businesses to clean up their act. Only then can we ensure that we have an economy that is fair, safe, and transparent for all, and puts consumers first.
About the Author
Marta L. Tellado is the President and CEO of Consumer Reports, America's foremost consumer organization that advances truth, transparency, and fairness in the marketplace. In 2019, she led the creation of a Digital Lab to develop new ways to test and report on digital products and services-from connected thermostats, to cars that collect data on their drivers, to online platforms such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook. She also created Consumer Reports' Digital Standard, an open source set of benchmarks that can be used by companies and organizations to design digital products that are respectful of consumers' digital rights.
Prior to joining CR, she served as Vice President at the Ford Foundation, Executive Director of the Domestic Policy Group at the Aspen Institute, Director for National Issues and Outreach for US Senator Bill Bradley, and as Vice President of the Partnership for Public Service.
“The first responsibility of government is to protect its citizens, including from unsafe products and unscrupulous business practices. Tellado’s book shows how empowering consumers to become advocates is critical to prompting policymakers to pass reforms we need. Her guidance helps people protect themselves today and provides a roadmap to spur change for tomorrow.”—US Senator Amy Klobuchar
“Tellado alerts us to the harms of technology without conscience and a digital world without guardrails. Thankfully, she also highlights steps towards a future where the promise of tech aligns with its ethical use.”—Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist
“A compelling and important book that gives the consumer straightforward, profound truths about today’s market dangers as well as empowering advice.”—Cathy O’Neil, data scientist and author of Weapons of Math Destruction
“In a time when the harvesting of our intimate data fuels surveillance and precision manipulation is business as usual, Buyer Aware serves as a beacon for the potential and success of consumer power.”—Dr. Joy Buolamwini, founder, the Algorithmic Justice League
“Tellado makes a compelling case that economic freedom is a civil right, and we have to fight for it. It’s an important call for accountability in a time of rising corporate impunity.”—Julia Angwin, Pulitzer Prize winner and cofounder, the Markup
“An inspirational story of a remarkable American woman who has never forgotten where she has come from and has a clear idea where she’s going—to a better America where consumer rights have power. This book educates and empowers. Enjoy it, learn from it, and take action.”—former US senator Bill Bradley
“In her wide-ranging book, Marta Tellado empowers consumers by detailing how unregulated corporatism produces systemic racism. By further explaining what is technological discrimination against the minority, low-income consumers struggling for economic justice, Tellado deftly connects consumer rights with civil rights.”—Ralph Nader, consumer activist, founder of Public Citizen, and author of Unsafe at Any Speed
“With great clarity, passion, and a personal touch, Tellado convincingly argues that ‘consumer’ issues are not just about dollars and cents—they implicate civil rights, freedom, and democracy itself. She offers a blueprint for an innovative, nimble, and empowered consumer-rights movement for the digital age. Buyer Aware is a must-read for any advocate seeking to make systemic and cultural change.”—Gigi Sohn, cofounder, Public Knowledge
“Tellado is both one of the most respected consumer voices in the country and a leader in the Latino community, and her new book Buyer Aware is both informative and incredibly timely. It’s a much-needed guide to help consumers, including Latino and Latina consumers, take back control of their personal data, overcome today’s predatory practices, and ensure a better economic future.”—Janet Murguía, president and CEO, UnidosUS