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Coalition urges Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rein in harmful practices of data brokers

The nonprofit research, testing, and advocacy organization Consumer Reports is part of a coalition of ten nonprofit organizations dedicated to consumer rights, immigrant rights, and privacy rights that are urging 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.

In a letter to the CFPB, the coalition notes that 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 are urging the CFPB to use its regulatory and enforcement authority to address these critical issues, including enforcement actions against data brokers already determined to be in violation of FCRA.