Written By Digital Content Editor Thomas Ahearn

On March 15, 2023, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) launched an inquiry into the business practices of so-called “data brokers” that track and collect information on consumers to help inform the CFPB’s planned rulemaking under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), according to a news release from the CFPB.

In issuing the Request for Information Regarding Data Brokers and Other Business Practices Involving the Collection and Sale of Consumer Information, the CFPB wants to understand the full scope and breadth of data brokers, their impact on the daily lives of consumers, and whether they are all playing by the same rules.

The Request for Information from the CFPB is a chance for the public to share feedback about data brokers that can play a significant role in their lives. The feedback will shed light on the current state of the industry and inform the CFPB’s future work to ensure that these companies comply with the FCRA.

“The FCRA provides a range of protections, including accuracy standards, dispute rights, and restrictions on how data can be used. The law covers data brokers like credit reporting companies and background screening firms, as well as those who report information to these firms,” stated the news release from the CFPB.

The inquiry seeks information about business practices employed by data brokers to inform the CFPB’s efforts to administer the law that include planned rulemaking under the FCRA. The request for information will be published in the Federal Register and the public will be able to submit their comments until June 13, 2023.

“Modern data surveillance practices have allowed companies to hover over our digital lives and monetize our most sensitive data,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra explained in the news release from the CFPB. “Our inquiry will inform whether rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act reflect these market realities.”

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 and has the authority to take action against institutions violating consumer financial laws which include the FCRA that protects consumers from the inclusion of inaccurate information in consumer reports.

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