Published: July 2013

Banks, not CFPB, spys on consumers

Consumer Action joins other privacy and consumer advocates in supporting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) acquisition and analysis of commercial databases to help ensure the public is fairly treated by the financial marketplace.

As leaders of consumer and privacy organizations, the coalition agrees that the CFPB needs to use the wide range of data available to financial institutions and services in order to identify best practices and the safeguards needed to protect consumer privacy.

Banks and other firms all routinely buy, mix and analyze data from data brokers such as Acxiom and a vast host of other data brokers and data miners. Information is collected from social networking sites, from your use of various financial products and payment cards and from your responses to surveys and offers. The bank-purchased data sets can be used to help track a consumer wherever they are online, including when using mobile devices. Such data techniques enable financial marketers to compile profiles of consumers, so they can be targeted—in real- time—for payday loans, higher interest rate credit cards, and other products.

The CFPB must be granted access and be able to fully use consumer data to understand how a consumer’s privacy may be violated. How else can it effectively determine what safeguards are required for financial consumer protection as the growing sophisticated use of data further transforms the delivery of products and services? Consumer Action and advocates respectfully urge the CFPB to continue its work to ensure that in today’s data-driven financial marketplace, consumers have the privacy and other protections they deserve.

Lead Organization


Other Organizations

AFL-CIO | Alliance for a Just Society | Americans for Financial Reform | Asia Services in Action | Asian American Drug Abuse Program | Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council | Campus Progress | Center for Asian Pacific American Women | Center for Digital Democracy | Center for Effective Government | Center for Responsible Lending | Chinese American Service League | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer World | Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety | Consumers Union | | Demos | Hmong National Development | Home Defenders League | Housing Research & Advocacy Center | International Brotherhood of Teamsters | International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America, UAW | Main Street Alliance | NAACP | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development | National Community Reinvestment Coalition | National Consumers League | National Education Association | National Fair Housing Alliance | National Housing Law Project | National Peoples Action | National Council of La Raza | PICO National Network | Public Citizen | Rebuild the Dream | SAFER (A Committee of Economists and other Experts for Stable, Accountable, Fair and Efficient Financial Reform) | Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law | The Institute for College Access & Success and its Project on Student Debt | The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights | U.S. PIRG | United States Student Association | University Neighborhood Housing Program | USAction | Young Invincibles

More Information

For more information please visit the U.S. PIRG website.

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Banks, not CFPB, spys on consumers   (CFPBsUseofData.pdf)




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