CFPB launches inquiry into data broker practices

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today issued a request for information as part of an inquiry into the business practices of data brokers. Specifically, the agency is seeking to learn more about new business models that sell consumer data, determine whether such businesses are covered by the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and collect information on consumer harm and market abuses that may result from these practices.

“Data brokers” is an umbrella term that describes firms that collect, aggregate, sell, resell, license or otherwise share consumers’ personal information with other parties. The CFPB said it is particularly concerned about the privacy, security and accuracy of the data, as well as the alleged lack of consumer knowledge and consent regarding the activity.

The agency’s request has implications for many areas, including the CFPB’s Section 1033 rulemaking on personal financial data rights, possible CFPB supervision of data brokers and the FCRA. Comments must be submitted to the agency by June 13.