Big Data and Fintech Resources

New fintech firms are competing with banks to offer a variety of financial services. Some use Big Data algorithms and scores based not only on traditional financial information but often also on  information collected from social media tracking, your educational background or even shopping habits. These processes may be non-transparent or even secret and are often of questionable validity in determining your qualifications for credit or a job.

Archive from Big Data Event 6 December 2016

Recently, numerous regulators have engaged on the issue of Big Data and Fintech. FIntech is the name for the growing economic sector where Silicon Valley firms are offering different financial products developed using "tech." Regulators have held workshops and issued white papers and requests for information. Recently, the chief national bank regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), provided an outline of a proposed limited-purpose FinTech charter under the National Bank Act that consumer groups and state regulators contend will preempt strong state consumer protections, undercut existing federal laws and precipitate a race to the bottom. 

So, in December 2016, we brought 45 consumer, civil rights, community and small business advocates together to discuss the implications of the growing Fintech sector, its relationship to the existing financial sector and the OCC's proposal and to talk about what advocates should do going forward. We anticipate a series of ongoing convenings to be held with these and other stakeholders.

Some outputs:

PIRG/Center for Digital Democracy backgrounder on Big Data and Fintech.

Detailed comments of 49 groups including U.S. PIRG in opposition to the OCC proposal

Comments of 250 groups including state PIRGs in opposition to the OCC proposal.

We will be adding more resources to this page, including:

Jeff Chester of the Center for Digital Democracy's powerpoint Networks of Control from the event.

Professor Joe Turow's powerpoint (Annandale School of Communication, University of Pennsylvania).

Go to the Home Page of the U.S. PIRG Digital Data and Consumer Protection Project.

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Issue updates

Blog Post | Consumer Protection

Watch for fake 5.0 user ratings on merchant sites; and watch out for efforts by doctors, others to block real ratings, too | Ed Mierzwinski

Some user reviews on the Internet are written by sockpuppets paid by the website; in other cases, consumers are given inducements to write good reviews (New York Times). Meanwhile, doctors, especially, are trying to use copyright law to "squelch" valid reviews from patients (Washington Post). Either way, watch out.

> Keep Reading
News Release | U.S. PIRG | Consumer Protection

A Lower Standard for Lead Poisoning

U.S. PIRG applauds the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning and Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in their important decision to protect the safety and well-being of our littlest consumers: children. The Panel recommended the government lower the threshold of lead in blood that qualifies as lead poisoning in children.

> Keep Reading

Trouble in Toyland

The 2011 Trouble in Toyland report is our 26th annual survey of toy safety. In this report, we provide safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for young children and provide examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

> Keep Reading

Big Banks, Bigger Fees

Since Congress largely deregulated consumer deposit (checking and savings) accounts beginning in the early 1980s, the PIRGs have tracked bank deposit account fee changes and documented the banks’ long-term strategy to raise fees, invent new fees and make it harder to avoid fees. 

> Keep Reading

Trouble in Toyland

The 2011 Trouble in Toyland report is our 26th annual survey of toy safety. In this report, we provide safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for young children and provide examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards.

> Keep Reading

Pages

Blog Post

Here’s a guide to your rights depending on how you pay

News Release | US PIRG Education Fund

This FTC settlement must be a wake-up call to phone service providers so they do more to protect consumers. If not, the FTC must be vigilant in going after companies that enable the immoral practice of preying on consumers. And the FCC should require providers to block spoofed calls that we all know are scams.

Blog Post

Being proactive and demanding can help keep you and your family safe

Blog Post

Good news: You may still be able to request a forbearance because of COVID-19

Blog Post

If the COVID-19 pandemic affects your ability to pay, here’s what you need to know

View AllRSS Feed

Support us

Your tax-deductible donation supports U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.

Learn More

You can also support U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations. 




U.S. PIRG Education Fund is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.