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CFPB Data Collection

posted by Adam Levitin

I've got an op-ed in the American Banker about the CFPB's data collection, which has become the latest inside-the-Beltway attack on the CFPB.  

The problem is that the CFPB's data collection critics (and here and here and here, among others) don't understand the first thing about the nature of the data collected by the CFPB.  Newt Gingrich, for example, worries about the civil liberties implications of the CFPB seeing your credit card bill. I'd be worried about that too, but that's not the data the CFPB's getting.  Nor is it getting metadata that can be used to reidentify accounts. Nor is the data that the CFPB collects useful to cybercriminals--it lacks account numbers, expiry dates, PINs, etc. And almost all of it is already commercially or publicly available and already collected by other government agencies.  But shoot first, ask questions later is how things often play out with attacks on the CFPB.  Would it be too much to ask for factually-grounded policy discourse every once in a while?

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