Data Security, Privacy to Be Early Focus of CFPB’s Kraninger

Newly sworn-in Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger will focus on data security and privacy in her early days in office, she said at a press briefing on her first day at the bureau this afternoon. The bureau collects a significant amount of consumer data in the form of surveys, consumer complaints and expanded Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data reporting.

“Data security and data privacy [are] going to be a big focal point in terms of what the bureau collects, how it’s used, how long it’s stored . . . what information’s appropriate to be shared among regulators,” Kraninger said. “We absolutely will put consumers first in the decisions I make.”

She added that she will use the agency’s strong enforcement powers as needed but that a previous CFPB practice sometimes called “regulation by enforcement” is “certainly pushing the envelope. I think there is a responsibility here to make sure the law is clearly articulated in the regulations. People want to comply . . . the bureau should be providing them the information they need to comply.”

Asked about predecessor Mick Mulvaney’s initiative to rebrand the agency as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, or BCFP, in line with its authorizing statute, Kraninger noted that the name change remains only “partially done” and that she has not made a final decision on completing it.