CFPB’s ‘NSA-Like’ Surveillance in Limbo with Leadership Tussle

The Washington Examiner discusses Mick Mulvaney’s appointment as acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau with John Berlau.

The fight for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may have significant effects on the bureau’s mass acquisition of private financial records, according to privacy advocates.

The CFPB pools vast quantities of data for research purposes, including millions of people’s credit card records, which it says are anonymized, commercially available and tracked to help consumers, not to spy on them.

John Berlau, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told the Washington Examiner that he believes “it would be good policy and good politics for Mulvaney to get rid of it as quickly as he can.”

“It results in red tape but also it violates so many Americans’ privacy, having this NSA-like database and not for any national security purposes,” he said.

“The NSA at least is subject to congressional appropriations,” Berlau added, referring to the CFPB’s budgetary independence.

“They never were specific about how they anonymized that data,” he said.

Read the full article at The Washington Examiner.