Crapo, Brown Invite Feedback on Data Privacy, Protection and Collection

WASHINGTON – United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are inviting feedback from interested stakeholders on the collection, use and protection of sensitive information by financial regulators and private companies. 

“Given the exponential growth and use of data, and corresponding data breaches, it is worth examining how the Fair Credit Reporting Act should work in a digital economy, and whether certain data brokers and other firms serve a function similar to the original consumer reporting agencies,” said Crapo.  “I am particularly interested in what data is contained in modern consumer reports, how the information is gathered, who compiles it, how it is protected, how consumers can access it and correct it, and how privacy is respected.” 

“In the year and a half since the Equifax breach, the country has learned that financial and technology companies are collecting huge stockpiles of sensitive personal data, but fail over and over to protect Americans’ privacy.  Outdated privacy laws don’t address the complex surveillance schemes these businesses profit from today,” said Brown.  “Congress should make it easy for consumers to find out who is collecting personal information about them, and give consumers power over how that data is used, stored and distributed.” 

The collection, use and protection of personally identifiable information and other sensitive information by financial regulators and private financial companies (including third-parties that share information with financial regulators and private financial companies) is something that deserves close scrutiny.  Americans are rightly concerned about how their data is collected and used, and how such data is secured and protected.  The collection and use of personally identifiable information will be a major focus of the Banking Committee moving forward.  

Accordingly, Banking Committee Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown invite responses from interested stakeholders to any of the questions listed below in order to inform potential legislation in the 116th Congress.  Responses will be collected until March 15, 2019.  

1)    What could be done through legislation, regulation, or by implementing best practices that would give consumers more control over and enhance the protection of consumer financial data, and ensure that consumers are notified of breaches in a timely and consistent manner? 

2)    What could be done through legislation, regulation, or by implementing best practices to ensure that financial regulators and private financial companies (including third-parties that share information with financial regulators and private financial companies) provide adequate disclosure to citizens and consumers about the information that is being collected about them and for what purposes? 

3)    What could be done through legislation, regulation, or by implementing best practices to give citizens and consumers control over how financial regulators and private financial companies (including third-parties that share information with financial regulators and private financial companies) use consumer data? 

4)    What could be done through legislation, regulation, or by implementing best practices by credit bureaus to protect consumer data and to make sure that information contained in a credit file is accurate? 

5)    What could be done through legislation, regulation, or by implementing best practices so a consumer can easily identify and exercise control of data that is being (a) collected and shared by data brokers and other firms and (b) used as a factor in establishing a consumer’s eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, or other purposes. 

Responders should submit electronic copies of their responses to Committee staff at submissions@banking.senate.gov.  Responses will be made public on the Banking Committee’s website. 

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