February 8, 2023 — Letter

The below-signed immigrant rights, consumer rights, and privacy organizations urge the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to use the full force of its authority under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to rein in widespread harmful behavior by the data broker industry. The CFPB’s statutory purpose, in part, is to ensure that “markets for consumer financial products and services are fair [and] transparent.” Yet the soaring data market is unfair and opaque, leveraging the personal information of millions for profit, without consent, and too often evading accountability for mistakes that can lead to
consumers being denied jobs, government benefits, or even housing.

The groups call on the CFPB to wield both its regulatory and enforcement authority to address these issues. CFPB should bring enforcement actions against data brokers already determined to be in violation of FCRA, as well as use its rulemaking authority to revise regulations implementing FCRA to ensure and clarify the Act’s coverage of data brokers when they sell data that should be considered a “consumer report.” And because a rulemaking may take an extended period of time to finalize, in the interim, the groups urge the CFPB to swiftly issue an Advisory Opinion (AO) clarifying that “credit header” data is not
exempt from regulations promulgated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).