Bureau to unveil rules expanding scope of FCRA to cover tracking, selling personal data

Tracking and selling people’s personal data would be regulated under a proposal that would expand the scope to more companies of current credit reporting rules and to be unveiled next month, the federal consumer financial protection said Tuesday.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the proposed regulation would affect companies that track and sell the data by expanding the number of firms that are subject to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The proposal would cover the use of data derived from payment histories, personal income and criminal records, CFPB indicated.

Under a separate proposal, the agency indicated it is targeting the disclosure of “credit header data,” or personal data such as names, addresses and social security numbers that the top three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) share for people. It noted some of those persons may be seeking to avoid contact, such as domestic violence victims.

An outline of both proposals will be published next month, along with alternatives under consideration for a proposed rule, the agency said.

“Today, ‘artificial intelligence’ and other predictive decision-making increasingly relies on ingesting massive amounts of data about our daily lives,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in remarks delivered at a White House roundtable on protecting americans from harmful data broker practices.

“This creates financial incentives for even more data surveillance,” Chopra said. “This also has big implications when it comes to critical decisions, like whether or not we will be interviewed for a job or get approved for a bank account or loan. It’s critical that there’s some accountability when it comes to misuse or abuse of our private information and activities.”

Remarks of CFPB Director Rohit Chopra at White House Roundtable on Protecting Americans from Harmful Data Broker Practices