Financial Protection

CFPB wants to hear more from you on what Big Tech payment platforms are up to

The CFPB has announced it is taking a closer look at powerful Big Tech payment platforms, which harvest and monetize consumer data in new and intrusive ways. In particular,  the CFPB wants to  hear from you on “companies’ acceptable use policies and their use of fines, liquidated damages provisions, and other penalties.”

Along with colleagues at the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), we filed a detailed comment in the CFPB’s first inquiry:

“USPIRG and CDD believe the U.S. is at an especially critical inflection point regarding digital platforms, digital payment services and online consumer protection: the pervasive tracking of data on individuals, families and groups, online and off; the nearly real-time ability to target a consumer with financial and other product offers regardless of where they are or device they use; and the development of a highly sophisticated and now machine-driven apparatus to deliver personalized marketing and communications, have all led to a largely unaccountable digital marketplace.”

I wonder whether the CFPB has similar concerns to those in an interesting class action claim again the Big Tech firms Paypal and Amazon. The lawsuit’s website asserts: “We want to publicize and clarify what PayPal did to account holders by freezing their PayPal accounts and transfering the balance to PayPals own account in terms of its Acceptable Use Policy.”

In any case, the CFPB’s ongoing interest (August CFPB report) in Big Tech is welcome. A 30-day comment period will soon be filed in the Federal Register.


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