Senator Presses Treasury Secretary on Collection, Sale of Financial Data

Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has written to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who oversees the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), to express concern with the collection and sale of consumer financial data practices.

Sherrod Brown

Sherrod Brown

Brown’s concerns focused on bad actors obtaining and using private consumer data for their own purposes and profit, especially given the extent of personal data financial institutions can access, as noted.

“The breadth of personal consumer data that financial institutions have access to and can legally sell or otherwise disclose to commercial entities and to data brokers creates a concerning entry point for bad actors to obtain and use that information for their own purposes,” wrote Brown. “As chair of FSOC, you have identified risks to our financial system posed by cybersecurity incidents, including ransomware attacks and data breaches. In a similar vein, I encourage FSOC to assess whether and to what extent the collection and sale of consumer data by financial institutions pose a systemic threat to the country’s financial stability,” he concluded.

Data Security Bill Dropped

As reported, Brown’s letter comes on the heels of a group of bipartisan lawmakers from both chambers who unveiled draft data privacy legislation Friday, “reigniting” the conversation around the need for comprehensive federal data privacy and security standard.

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce will hold a hearing next week focused on that bipartisan legislation.

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