Consumer Agency: 250,000 Consumers' Data Breached

By Newsmax
Posted on 04/19/23 | News Source: Newsmax

A former employee with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent data on 250,000 consumer accounts to a personal email account, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"The CFPB takes data privacy very seriously, and this unauthorized transfer of personal and confidential data is completely unacceptable," the agency said in a statement to The Hill. "We have referred the matter to the Office of the Inspector General, and we are taking appropriate action to address this incident."

Agency officials notified lawmakers about the breach on March 21.

Republicans have asked for additional details.

Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., chair of the Financial Services Committee's investigations panel, in a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra asked for a briefing no later than April 25 on the "mitigation and remediation efforts, the scale of the breach, as well as efforts made to give the appropriate notifications."

"My understanding is that the transfer of records could have possibly implicated more than 50 financial institutions' sensitive information," Huizenga wrote. "If these facts prove to be true, the effects could be widespread and injurious."

House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry in a statement said the breach "raises concerns with how the CFPB safeguards consumers' personally identifiable information."

"Republicans will ensure any bad actors are held accountable," he added.

The agency did not identify the former employee.

A spokeswoman for Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who heads the Senate Banking Committee, said the bureau "followed protocols by notifying relevant committees of the breach" and has referred the matter to a government watchdog. "It would be irresponsible to speculate or jump to conclusions," the spokeswoman said.