President Obama’s Consumer Financial Protection Board, created by the Dodd-Frank bill and staffed by controversial so-called recess appointments, is “unreasonably searching your records and invading your privacy” to a degree comparable to the National Security Agency’s recently discovered programs, according to a Republican senator.
In addition to the NSA, “there is another agency unreasonably searching your records and invading your privacy,” Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., said in a statement yesterday. “The NSA claims it is protecting you from terrorists. The consumer protection bureau claims it’s protecting you from banks. At what point does ‘protection’ become power or control?”
Bloomberg News reported on the CFPB data collection in April. “The new U.S. consumer finance watchdog is gearing up to monitor how millions of Americans use credit cards, take out mortgages and overdraw their checking accounts,” Bloomberg’s Carter Dougherty wrote. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is demanding records from the banks and is buying anonymous information about at least 10 million consumers including Experian Plc (EXPN),” a company that provides credit reports and credit scores.
Enzi took the opportunity to protest CFPB’s independence from congressional oversight. “Congress has less control over this agency than the National Security Agency because authors of the bill that created the consumer bureau gave it funding not through Congress, but through the Federal Reserve,” he said. “Knowledge is power. How much power do you want the federal government to have over you?”