Online personal information is a hot commodity. It’s often bought and sold by data brokers.
In a perfect world, we’d have control over this information and would be able to sell it to the highest bidder. Unfortunately there’s little regulation that protects us.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has launched an inquiry into companies that track and collect information on people’s personal lives. The CFPB “wants to understand the full scope and breadth of data brokers and their business practices, their impact on the daily lives of consumers, and whether they are all playing by the same rules.”
Why is data brokering a problem? “Modern data surveillance practices have allowed companies to hover over our digital lives and monetize our most sensitive data,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Our inquiry will inform whether rules under the Fair Credit Reporting Act reflect these market realities.”
“Congress passed the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in response to concerns about data brokers assembling detailed dossiers about consumers and selling this information to those making employment, credit, and other decisions. People often have little choice about whether to enter into business relationships with these companies or whether they will be tracked, yet the data these companies collect may nevertheless play a decisive role in significant life decisions, like buying a home or finding a job.”
Do you think your personal information has been used without your consent?
Consumers can submit complaints about financial products or services by visiting the CFPB’s website or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372).