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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Chopra announces rulemaking for data brokers

Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Protection Data Brokers Artificial Intelligence FCRA

Federal Issues

On August 15, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra delivered remarks at the White House Roundtable on the harms of data broker practices. Referencing the prevalence of artificial intelligence in data surveillance, Chopra highlighted a common practice employed by companies: the gathering, leveraging, and sharing of data concerning consumers, including individual pieces of data or consumer profiles, without consumers’ awareness with third parties that employ AI to formulate forecasts and decisions. These detailed data sets can also easily be exploited by bad actors, Chopra warned. Chopra announced that after conducting an inquiry into data broker practices, the Bureau will endeavor to make rules regulating data broker surveillance to ensure sensitive data is not misused and on par with FCRA requirements.

Two proposals are being considered: the first proposal would define the term “consumer reporting agency” to include a data broker that sells certain types of consumer data, thereby triggering requirements to ensure accuracy and to govern disputes concerning the reporting of inaccurate information. The second proposal will address existing confusion by clarifying the existing confusion concerning “the extent to which credit header data constitutes a consumer report, [and] reducing the ability of credit reporting companies to impermissibly disclose sensitive contact information that can be used to identify people who don’t wish to be contacted, such as domestic violence survivors.” The rulemaking will also complement efforts put forth by the FTC.