Records from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that Judicial Watch recently obtained reveal the agency has spent millions of dollars collecting and analyzing Americans’ financial transactions—at least some of it without their knowledge.
Judicial Watch obtained the records through a Freedom of Information Act filed on April 24, 2013 following testimony by CFPB director Richard Cordray before the Senate Banking Committee on April 23.
Those documents include overlapping contracts with multiple credit reporting agencies and accounting firms to gather, store, and share credit card data worth $2.9 million, along with a nearly $5 million paid to Deloitte Consulting LLP for software instruction.
Documents also revealed an “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” contract with Experian, according to Judicial Watch, worth up to $8.43 million to track daily consumer habits of certain individuals without their awareness or consent.
The CFPB’s personal financial data collect program is detailed in another document Judicial Watch obtained, titled “Indefinite-Delivery Indefinite-Quantity (IDIQ) Statement of Work,” which includes the bureau’s stated objective of acquiring and maintaining a nationally representative panel of credit information on consumers for use in a wide range of policy research projects.
The panel, according to the objective, is supposed to be a “random sample of consumer credit files obtained from a national database of credit files.”
“The Obama administration’s warrantless collection of the private financial information of millions of Americans is mind-blowing. Is there anything that this administration thinks it can’t do?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton in a statement. “These documents show that the Consumer Financial Protection Board is an out-of-control government agency that threatens the fundamental privacy and financial security of Americans. This is every bit as serious as the controversy over the NSA’s activities.”
Written by Alyssa Gerace