The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says deferred payment services, known...

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says deferred payment services, known by the acronym BNPL, could mean greater debt for consumers. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/mareesw

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has opened an inquiry into the fast-growing "buy now, pay later" services from PayPal, Affirm and other payment apps. The bureau says the deferred payment services, known by their acronym BNPL, could mean consumers incur more debt than anticipated after they download "the easy-to-use apps or install the web browser plugins." Unlike old-fashioned layaway plans used to purchase one large item, buy now, pay later is used for an array of discretionary everyday items, and its ease of use means consumers often spend more without realizing how much they will owe. The bureau says last month’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping weekend saw a "massive growth in BNPL."

New take on take out

With diners cautious about going to restaurants during the pandemic, Chipotle Mexican Grill is launching Chipotlane Digital Kitchen, an eatery without an indoor dining room. The Chipotlane Digital Kitchen features a drive-thru and an outside walk-up window where customers pick up food they ordered on the Chipotle app. Digital pickup orders and drive-thrus have been a bright spot for the beleaguered restaurant industry during the pandemic.

DHS launches bug-bounty program

The Department of Homeland Security is putting out the welcome mat for hackers. The department has launched Hack DHS, a bug-bounty program where cybersecurity researchers — also known as ethical hackers -- are invited to identify vulnerabilities in DHS computer systems. If vulnerabilities are found, the agency will fix them and the hackers receive a payment. DHS says the program will increase its "cybersecurity resilience."

Hitting the unlike button on Facebook

While Facebook remains the most popular social network, Americans are uneasy about how it handles their personal information. According to a Washington Post-Schar School poll, 72% of internet users trust Facebook "not much" or "not at all" to responsibly handle data on their internet activity. Only 10% say Facebook has a positive impact on society, while 56% say it has a negative impact.

— THE WASHINGTON POST

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