Photo of A.J. Dhaliwal

A.J. is a special counsel in the Finance and Bankruptcy Practice Group in the firm's Washington, D.C. office.

On October 18, the CFPB sued a software company for utilizing their online payment platform to enroll unknowing consumers into annual subscriptions through deceptive acts and “dark pattern” techniques in violation of the CFPA and EFTA. Among other things, the complaint alleges that the company encouraged consumers to unknowingly enroll in free trials and converted the free trials into annual subscriptions through a “negative option” renewal policy (our sister blog covered “negative option” marketing in a previous post here). During this process, the company allegedly collected consumers’ registration information and consumer payments data (e.g., credit or debit card number) so that it could transmit the consumer payments data through its payments systems. 

Continue Reading CFPB Sues Payment Platform Over Dark Patterns

The CFPB recently published a circular clarifying liability under consumer financial protection law for financial companies that fail to safeguard consumer data. The circular describes how firms may be violating the CFPA’s prohibition on unfair acts or practices with respect to the handling of consumer data by not implementing adequate measures to protect against data security incidents. According to the CFPB. in the event of large scale, customer-base-wide breaches, consumers may become victims of targeted identify theft.

Continue Reading CFPB: Safeguard Consumer Data or Face Liability

On June 13, US and UK governments announced that they are developing prize challenges focused on advancing the maturity of privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) to combat financial crime. The announcements highlight that up to $2 trillion of cross-border money laundering takes place each year. The White House explained that PETs could address financial crime through maturing technologies, which allows machine learning models to be trained on high quality datasets, without the data leaving safe environments. PETs also facilitate privacy-preserving financial information sharing and collaborative analytics; allowing suspicious types of behavior to be identified without compromising the privacy of individuals, or requiring the transfer of data between institutions or across borders.

Continue Reading US, UK Collaborate on Prize Challenges for Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

On June 7, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to request a review by the Financial Stability Oversight Council of financial institutions’ consumer data activities and their potential threat to U.S. financial stability and security. The letter raised concerns that this information may be sold to third-party purchasers or data brokers who compile it with personal data collected from other sources often associated with advertising and exploited for other uses. The Committee also raised concerns that such data could be used for nefarious purposes including “glean[ing] consumers’ tolerance for price hikes, or using certain people’s spending patterns to target them for blackmail or ransomware.” 

Continue Reading Senate Banking Committee Sends Letter to Yellen on Collection, Use of Consumer Data

The May 1 change to banks’ cyber-notification process is fast approaching. As we wrote previously the OCC, FDIC, and Federal Reserve Board implemented a final rule under which banks and their service providers must notify their primary federal regulators within 36 hours of certain incidents.  A notification incident that triggers this requirement is defined as a computer security incident that materially disrupts a banking organization’s operations or lines of business. Thus not all incidents will meet these levels. For those that do, banks will need to be prepared. Part of that is having the right points of contact, which include:
Continue Reading On the Clock: Cyber Incidents Notification Deadline Approaching for Banks

In light of Russia’s recent military actions in Ukraine, the New York Department of Financial Services issued guidance on its cybersecurity and virtual currency regulations. The Department is specifically concerned about heightened risk for Russia’s cyberattacks against Ukraine, which could in turn lead to retaliatory attacks against U.S. critical infrastructure due to U.S. sanctions against Russia.
Continue Reading NYDFS Issues Cybersecurity Guidance in Response to Events in Ukraine

A California-based lead generation company recently settled with the FTC for $1.5 million over alleged privacy violations. The FTC argued that the company deceptively acquired consumer personal information and improperly
Continue Reading FTC Fines Lead Generation Company $1.5M Citing Misuse of Consumer Financial Data

Last month, the CFPB utilized its market monitoring authority to issue a series of orders to five companies offering “buy now, pay later” credit.  Buy now, pay later, or BNPL, is a deferred payment option that allows consumers to split a purchase into smaller installments, typically four or less, often with a down payment of 25 percent due at checkout.

Continue Reading CFPB’s Latest Orders Place Data Practices Front and Center for 2022

Federal banking regulators issued a final rule that impacts how banks and other regulated entities report certain data incidents.  Those subject to these new reporting requirements include U.S. banks and bank service providers. The rule is effective April 1, 2022, and covered entities are expected to comply with the final rule by May 1, 2022. The new requirements reflect ongoing concern to identify and stop computer security incidents before they become systemic.
Continue Reading Beginning in May 2022 Banks Will Have 36 Hours to Disclose Certain Types of Cyber Incidents

The FTC recently announced a final rule updating its GLBA Safeguards Rule to “strengthen the data security safeguards” of consumer financial information. The FTC reported that it was making these changes in response to widespread data breaches and cyberattacks.  As we reported in our sister blog, the changes will mean that a broad range of non-banking financial institutions may need to make updates to their data security policies and procedures. The new requirements go into effect in November 2022.

Continue Reading Non-Banking Institutions Will Want to Review Security Measures in Light of Update to Safeguards Rule