Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Investigates Big Tech

Pile of hundred dollar bills.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) plans to start probing companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, and others over their data practices (via WSJ).

Financial Data Protection

The agency wants information on how these companies use the financial data of their users. Each of these companies play a role in consumer finances with Apple Pay | Apple Card, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and Facebook’s upcoming Novi digital wallet.

Questions these companies will face may include:

They will likely range from inquiries about how consumer data that flows through the companies is used in lending decisions to how data determines what ads consumers are shown, the people said. In all, the companies are expected to face demands to answer dozens of questions while the bureau also seeks public comment on the requests, the people said.

The move is a new angle by which the government is scrutinizing tech companies. Earlier in October, a bipartisan antitrust bill was put forth to stop Big Tech platforms from favoring their own products and services.

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W. Abdullah Brooks, MD

Andrew:

This sounds less like anti-competitive behaviour investigation (favouring their products over those of the competition) than it does biased and other unfair practices in lending and product advertisement; although all of the above are likely on the table.