The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to announce today at the White House that it plans to issue a rule regulating how companies track and sell consumers’ personal data.
The rule will be issued under the Fair Credit Reporting Act and will expand the number of companies subject to the statute to include companies that have access to and sell payment histories, personal incomes, and criminal records of consumers. The CFPB opened an inquiry back in March on data brokers, and is using the information in gleaned from that to create the rule it will be releasing today.
“The CFPB will be taking steps to ensure that modern-day data brokers in the surveillance industry know that they cannot engage in illegal collection and sharing of our data,” said Rohit Chopra, the Director of the CFPB, in a statement.
Chopra will take part in a roundtable discussion today on data brokers, and will be joined by Arati Prabhakar, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, National Economic Council Director Lael Brainard, Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, along with consumer advocates.
Data brokers have been found to have access to highly sensitive data, such as information about the mental health of consumers and geolocation data that tracks consumers’ whereabouts, such as tracing them back to abortion clinics. The growth of artificial intelligence tools to aid in surveillance and analysis, amplifying the information that can be obtained through data brokers, is of particular concern. Officials are also worried about the disclosure of credit header data, which includes high-level information about consumers like their names, addresses, and Social Security numbers, that are sold by the credit reporting agencies.
“The President has been clear: we need distinct limits on how companies can collect, use, and share highly personal data,” Prabhakar said in a statement. “Protections from abusive data practices will give people more agency over how their data is used.”