May 07, 2019

Crapo Leads Efforts on Data Privacy and Protection

Data collection has implications for financial lives, including marketing of financial products, access to and cost of credit, or employment prospects

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is leading efforts to address data privacy and protection for consumers.  As Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Crapo recently joined Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) to invite feedback from the public on the collection, use and protection of sensitive information by financial regulators and private companies in light of the immense growth and use of data for a multitude of purposes across the economy.

Today, the Banking Committee built on that effort by holding a hearing to examine these and other approaches to data privacy, including the impact on the financial services industry and how companies collect and use information in marketing and decision-making related to credit, insurance or employment.

“My concerns about big data collection go back as far as the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was collecting massive amounts of personal financial information without an individual’s knowledge or consent,” said Crapo.  “But financial regulators are not the only ones engaged in big data collection; private companies are also collecting, processing, analyzing and sharing considerable data on individuals.  Consumers deserve to know what type of information is being collected about them, what that information is being used for and how it is being shared.” 

In many cases, an individual’s data or groups of individuals’ data is used in ways that provide value, such as risk mitigation, fraud prevention and identity verification, or to meet the requirements of laws or regulations.  However, in many other cases, that data can be used in ways that have big implications for their financial lives, including to market or make decisions on financial products or services that impact a consumer’s access to or cost of credit and insurance products, or in ways that impact their employment prospects.

“As its rightful owner, an individual should have real control over his or her data,” Crapo continued.  “A complete view of what data is collected, the sources of that data, how it is processed and for what purposes, and who it is being shared with is vital to individuals exercising their rights.  The Banking Committee will continue to explore ways to grant consumers more information and control over their privacy, whether through legislative means or other methods.”

For Crapo’s full statement at the data privacy hearing, click here.

To view Chairman Crapo and Ranking Member Brown’s initial request for feedback, click here.