CFPB Launches Inquiry Into Data Brokers’ Business Practices

Mar 29, 2023Federal Regulation, News

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an inquiry into companies that collect and track consumers’ personal data, giving the public an opportunity to share feedback about the business models and practices used by data brokers. The feedback will let the CFPB know how firms use personal financial data, and could inform future rulemaking.

“Modern data surveillance practices have allowed companies to hover over our digital lives and monetize our most sensitive data,” said Rohit Chopra, CFPB Director. “Our inquiry will inform whether rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act [FCRA] reflect these market realities.”

Reuters noted that in 2021, Chopra ordered Inc, Apple Inc, and Facebook Inc to release information about how their consumer payment data is used. The FCRA was passed to protect and restrict how data can be used in response to concerns about brokers creating and selling detailed dossiers about consumers for those making employment and credit decisions.

The CFPB’s inquiry seeks information about business practices used in the data broker market, including the types of data brokers collect and the sources they depend on. The information received will inform the Bureau’s efforts to administer the law, such as planned rulemaking under the FCRA.

Additionally, the CFPB is interested in hearing about consumers’ experiences with data brokers, especially when consumers attempt to remove, correct, or reclaim control over their financial data.

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