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CFPB Consumer Spying Program Requires Consumer, Congressional Action

posted September 22, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.— US Consumer Coalition Senior Advisor, Brian Wise released the following statement in response to the General Accounting Office’s report on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s various data collection programs being conducted without oversight from Congress:

“Today we learned that the CFPB has at least 12 spying programs and these programs are against Americans, collecting detailed records on potentially hundreds of millions of people. These programs make the NSA spying program look like child’s play. The report released today by the Government Accountability Office does little to dissuade the legitimate fears ofAmericans that the federal government is collecting detailed information on our spending habits, and the companies American consumers patronize.

Regardless of the GAO’s position, the appropriateness and necessity of this spying program should be questioned by every American. In dismissing the CFPB’s actions as merely ‘business as usual’ for the federal government, the GAO fails to acknowledge that most other agencies are subject to direct Congressional oversight. The CFPB was created to be beyond the reach of Congress and unaccountable to scrutiny by our elected officials. Much like its parent organization, the Federal Reserve, the CFPB continues to make its own rules without consent of the American people. These spying programs are establishing perhaps the most intrusive government monitoring regime in American history.

After revelations of inappropriate and potentially illegal behavior from the NSA and the IRS, American consumers should be alarmed that this agency is acquiring information from more than 1 billion credit cards and executing a dozen other data-mining programs. CFPB Director Cordray has made it clear to Congress that Americans can’t opt out of this invasion of privacy and the agency will continue to track the behavior of millions of people without their knowledge. The first step to ensuring that American consumers are protected from the spying of the agency designed to protect them, is to fundamentally reform the CFPB and bring accountability, transparency, and legitimacy to this out of control agency.”

The US Consumer Coalition (USCC) is a grassroots consumer advocacy organization working to protect and expand access to free-market goods and services. For more information, please visit www.usconsumers.org and follow us at www.facebook.com/USConsumers and www.twitter.com/USConsumers.

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