Bureau wants feedback on data use

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking industry and consumer input on its sources of data and how data is used.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking industry and consumer input on its sources of data and how data is used.

The agency also issued a report providing insight and transparency into how the bureau collects and uses data. It describes the CFPB’s data governance program as well as what data it collects, where the data comes from, how data is used, and how data is reused within the bureau.

The CFPB has been criticized in the past for its handling of data collected from consumers and the entities it regulates. A report issued by the Federal Reserve System Office of the Inspector General said the bureau had failed to properly secure sensitive data it gathered for regulation and in investigations.

Those criticisms helped prompt a data security review, one of the first acts undertaken by CFPB Acting Director Mick Mulvaney after he replaced Rick Cordray as head of the bureau. As part of that review process, Mulvaney suspended collection of complaint data, a move which drew the ire of bureau founder Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Mulvaney has suggested he would like to end public access to the complaint database.

The accompanying request for information will give the public an opportunity to submit feedback on the bureau’s data governance program and data use and suggest ways to improve outcomes for both consumers and covered entities. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 27; instructions for submitting them can be found in the Federal Register notice.

The Dodd-Frank Act requires that the CFPB “shall seek to implement and … enforce Federal consumer financial law consistently for the purpose of ensuring that all consumers have access to markets for consumer financial products and services and that [those markets] are fair, transparent, and competitive.” To date, the bureau has undertaken more than 188 data collections from public sources, government agencies, commercial vendors, financial institutions, and consumers.