Inspector General: CFPB Must Increase Database Security

Dean Chambers

A Federal Reserve Inspector General has recommended enhanced security over the consumer complaint database created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Law360 has reported. The Inspector General released results of an audit and concluded additional security measures should be implemented.

"The CFPB, which does not have its own dedicated inspector general's office, has taken steps toward securing its complaint database in line with federal law, but should address several security deficiencies related to password security, user access requirements and timely patches, the IG's office said Thursday," Law360 reported.

The CFPB processed 23,400 consumer complaints in June of 2015. The Inspector General was assigned the task of determining if the complaints database is secure.

The agency released the first "snapshot" based on that consumer complaints database, HousingWire reported. The 23,400 consumer complaints included 7,400 related to debt collection while 4,700 were related to mortgages and credit reporting was the subject of 4,300 complaints.

Judicial Watch has reported the issue of the CFPB consumer complaint database and security concerns in asserting the agency is "out of control." The data-mining operation alleged to be involved in the database poses a threat to the independent of the bankruptcy office, the Washington Examiner reported.

The CFPB has come under criticism for being a heavy-handed regulatory agency, stifling the financial services industries it was created to regulate. The agency has come under fire for proposing regulations that some believe will shut down the small dollar lending industry.

Two members of Congress, Reps. Blake Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and Randy Neugebauer (R-TX), have introduced legislation to reform the agency by placing it under the control of a bipartisan commission that would quite likely rein in the new agency and force it to regulate financial services in a more moderate and balanced manner.

Going even further, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. John Ratcliffe from the same state, have filed legislation to eliminate the CFPB, the Inquisitr reported. The legislation would eliminate what they called a "runaway agency" that they believe has gone well beyond its intended purpose.

"Don't let the name fool you, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does little to protect consumer," Cruz said in a statement about the legislation to eliminate the CFPB. "The agency continues to grow in power and magnitude without any accountability to Congress and the people. The only way to stop this runaway agency is by eliminating it altogether."

What does the Inspector General report say about the CFPB and the security of its consumer complaint database? Is the agency out of control, and in need for reform, and can American citizens trust the CFPB to securely possess and manage sensitive data on millions of financial accounts and transactions? These are questions Congress is considering and the elected representatives should hear from the people from which they represent.

[Photo of CFPB Director Richard Cordray and President Barack Obama from]