Probe looks at operations of data brokers, with aim at new rules under fair credit reporting

An investigation into companies that track and collect information on people’s personal lives – known as data brokers – has been launched by the federal consumer financial protection agency, it said in a release Wednesday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the probe was aimed at understanding 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.”

The bureau said its scrutiny will seek information about the business practices used in the market to fuel the brokers. The agency said it is asking for public comment to help gather that information. “The CFPB is interested in hearing about the business models and practices of the data broker market, including details about the types of data the brokers collect and sell and the sources they rely upon,” it said. “The feedback received will help the CFPB gain a better understanding about the current state of business practices in this area. The CFPB is also interested in hearing about people’s direct experiences with these companies, including when individuals attempt to remove, correct, or regain control of their data.”

Ultimately, the bureau said, the information it gathers will inform its efforts to administer the law, “including planned rulemaking under the FCRA” (Fair Credit Reporting Act).

Comments will be accepted until June 13, CFPB said.

CFPB Launches Inquiry Into the Business Practices of Data Brokers