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Chopra previews Section 1033 rulemaking on consumers’ rights to data

Federal Issues Privacy, Cyber Risk & Data Security CFPB Section 1033 Agency Rule-Making & Guidance Small Business Dodd-Frank Consumer Finance

Federal Issues

On October 25, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra spoke before an industry event where he announced that the Bureau will soon release a discussion guide for small businesses to further the agency’s Section 1033 rulemaking efforts with respect to consumer access to financial records. As announced in the Bureau’s Spring 2022 rulemaking agenda, Section 1033 of Dodd-Frank provides that, subject to Bureau rulemaking, covered entities such as banks must make certain product or service information, including transaction data, available to consumers. The Bureau is required to prescribe standards for promoting the development and use of standardized formats for information made available to consumers under Section 1033. In 2020, the Bureau issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking seeking comments to assist in developing the regulations (covered by InfoBytes here).

Chopra explained that, before issuing a proposed rule, the Bureau must first convene a panel of small businesses that represent their markets to solicit input on proposals the CFPB is considering. Chopra said the Bureau plans to “hear from small banks and financial companies who will be providers of data, as well as the small banks and financial companies who will ingest the data,” and will also gather input from intermediary data brokers that facilitate data transfers (“fourth parties”). He noted that a report will be published in the first quarter of 2023 based on comments received during the process, which will be used to inform a proposed rule that is slated to be issued later in 2023. Chopra said the Bureau hopes to finalize the rule in 2024, stating “[w]hile not explicitly an open banking or open finance rule, the rule will move us closer to it, by obligating financial institutions to share consumer data upon consumer request, empowering people to break up with banks that provide bad service, and unleashing more market competition.”

Chopra also expressed plans to propose requiring financial institutions that offer deposit accounts, credit cards, digital wallets, prepaid cards, and other transaction accounts to set up secure methods for data sharing. He stressed that doing so would “facilitate new approaches to underwriting, payment services, personal financial management, income verification, account switching, and comparison shopping.” He further noted that the Bureau is planning to assess ways to prevent incumbent institutions from improperly restricting access when consumers try to control and share their data, including by developing requirements for limiting misuse and abuse of personal financial data, fraud, and scams. Chopra said staff has been directed to consider alternatives to the “notice-and-opt out” regime that has been the standard for financial data privacy and to explore safeguards to prevent excessive control or monopolization by one or a handful of firms.