As reported in a CFPB press release, the Bureau
issued a series of orders to collect information on the business practices of large technology companies operating payments systems in the United States. The information will help the CFPB better understand how these firms use personal payments data and manage data access to users so the Bureau can ensure adequate consumer protection.
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The orders are issued pursuant to Section 1022(c)(4) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act. The CFPB has the statutory authority to order participants in the payments market to turn over information to help the Bureau monitor for risks to consumers and to publish aggregated findings that are in the public interest. The CFPB’s work is one of many efforts within the Federal Reserve System to make payments safer, faster, and more competitive. The initial orders were sent to Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, and Square. The Bureau will also be studying the payment system practices of Chinese tech giants, including Alipay and WeChat Pay.
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The CFPB’s orders build on the efforts of the Federal Trade Commission’s work to shed light on the business practices of the largest technology companies in the world. The orders also seek to illuminate the range of these consumer payment products and their underlying business practices. Specifically, the orders will compel information on…Data harvesting and monetization…Access restrictions and user choice…[and] Other consumer protections.
In a statement reported in Reuters, Jodie Kelley, chief executive of the Electronic Transactions Association, said that “[t]he digital transactions industry has a good story to tell about its efforts to protect consumer data. We look forward to working with Director Chopra and the CFPB on this important effort.”
The Bureau also released an example order and a statement from CFPB Director Chopra.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More