CFPB releases proposed data sharing rule

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today released its long-awaited rulemaking on consumer-authorized financial data sharing. Among the many provisions in the nearly 300-page proposed rule—which would implement Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act—is a ban on companies from charging customers for electronic access to their personal financial data. Consumers also would have the legal right to access information associated with their credit card, checking and digital wallet accounts. ABA is reviewing the proposal.

According to the CFPB, the proposed rule would prevent companies from using personal financial data that consumers share to advance their own commercial interests, such as by engaging in targeted or behavioral advertising. Consumers would have the right to revoke that access and, as part of that request, companies must delete the data they have on file by default. Companies would not be allowed to engage in “screen scraping,” a dangerous form of data collection that requires the use of log-in credentials and does not allow the consumer to limit the information seen by third parties. The proposal also contains several requirements to ensure industry standards are “fair, open and inclusive,” the bureau said.

In a statement, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said that banks firmly believe that customers own their financial data, and that no industry goes to greater lengths to protect that data. The proposed rule “brings us one step closer to achieving our common goal of enhancing consumers’ access to their financial data and allowing them to share it safely with companies of their own choosing, whether that sharing is from bank to bank, bank to fintech, or fintech to bank,” he said.

Still, Nichols said it was critical that the CFPB right-size the scope of the rule pertaining to the types of accounts involved and the information data providers are required to share, as well as address the question of liability if something goes wrong. “In addition, we remain concerned with the significant implementation costs our members will face, as well as the ambiguity caused by the CFPB’s parallel efforts in amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” he said.