Judicial Watch exposes Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data-mining millions of Americans’ credit files

June 27, 2013, Fairfax, VA—Americans for Limited Government Vice President of Public Policy and Communications Rick Manning today commented on documents obtained by Judicial Watch via the Freedom of Information Act from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealing a massive credit file data collection program on some 5 million Americans without their consent, including credit scores, purchases, ZIP code, year of birth, and a “persistent consumer identifier making it possible to follow consumers over time”:

“The discovery that the Obama Administration is aggregating credit file data on millions of Americans is hardly surprising since Congress authorized this collection in the Dodd-Frank financial legislation. The law empowers unaccountable bureaucrats at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and also the Office of Financial Research to gather personal financial data upon request from financial institutions.

“In light of other recent disclosures of government data mining at other agencies, this is particularly troubling. Even if what the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is getting is randomly selected and anonymized, and even if they only want the information purely for research purposes to monitor credit flows, this is still intrusive information being obtained without the American people’s consent.

“Taken as a whole, all of this data collection amounts to tagging, cataloguing, and monitoring individuals, turning them into nothing more than lab rats to be optimized and incentivized into government-preferred behaviors. The information will probably be incredibly useful to central planners — which is precisely why the American people need to begin asking what the government really wants it for.”

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