On March 19, 2014, the Federal Trade Commission hosted a seminar on Alternative Scoring Products, the second in its Spring Privacy Series. The speakers discussed the privacy concerns associated with predictive analytics products and scores that are offered by many data brokers. Alternative scores are used by companies to predict risks such as the likelihood that a person has committed identity fraud, whether contacting a consumer by mail or phone will lead to successful debt collection, or the credit risk associated with certain loan applications. Because consumers are often not aware of these alternative scores, or the data underlying the scores, these scores raise a variety of privacy concerns. For more on the seminar, see our legal alert.

The CFPB has reiterated that credit reports and scores remain a high priority for the Bureau, and Director Cordray has said that if there is harm to consumers, the Bureau is “very concerned” about the use of these alternative scores.