US Regulators Take Action to Protect Consumer Privacy
Recurring Theme: Data Privacy
As data privacy issues heat up between the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), the US’ consumer financial watchdog has made moves to bring enforcement actions against companies that illegally trafficked consumer data. Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced enforcement actions against individuals and companies engaged in what the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act) categorizes as unfair, deceptive and/or abusive.
Both companies involved in the alleged wrongdoing are lead aggregators that resold “sensitive” personal data to payday lenders and debt collections. The CFPB’s complaints assert that the actions of the aggregators exposed “millions of consumers to harassment and deceit.” While global critics argue that the US falls short in personal privacy protections, the CFPB appears to be taking a tougher approach. In a statement, CFPB Director Richard Cordray said, “This is a reminder to the middlemen who traffic in personal information: if you ignore warning signs that those buying this data are violating the law, you risk the consequences for the harm you are doing to people.”
CFPB Press Release: