Published: February 2023

Don’t allow data brokers to profit off of consumers’ identifying personal information in credit reports

A half dozen consumer advocacy organizations, including Consumer Action, wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to urge the agency to use its authority under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to rein in widespread harmful behavior by the data broker industry, which leverages the personal information of millions for profit without their consent.

Consumer Action joined its allies in urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to use its authority under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) to rein in data brokers using consumers’ identifying personal information without their consent, and to revise regulations implementing the FCRA to ensure and clarify the law’s coverage of data brokers when they sell “credit header” data (typically consisting of an individual’s name, aliases, birth date, Social Security number, current and prior addresses, and telephone number), which should be considered a “consumer report.” Data brokers have a staggering reach into the most private corners of consumers’ lives, aggregating and selling this personal data, often in violation of the FCRA. Harmful and abusive practices by these data brokers violate consumers’ financial rights, with the range of harms falling disproportionately on historically disadvantaged communities. For example, data brokers may sell information about low-income communities of color to entities that will use that information to market predatory products, such as high-interest payday loans.

Lead Organization

National Consumer Law Center

More Information

Click here to read the coalition letter. 

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