Hang on to your hats, my friends.
This is absolutely infuriating.
Apparently, the Obama Administration left Americans’ private data vulnerable and exposed — all in the name of “financial protection.”
And when they learned what was happening, they didn’t do a damn thing to stop it.
Paul Sperry has the story today at the New York Post. And it is absolutely startling.
Here’s a bit of what he writes:
Without your knowledge or permission, the Obama administration collected and warehoused your most private bank records and continued to sweep them up — despite repeated warnings the data wasn’t being properly protected. Now there’s a good chance your personal information could be in the hands of identity thieves or even terrorists.
The government isn’t sure who has your information. It only knows the Obama-era databases have been breached by outsider threats potentially 1,000-plus times. That’s according to a recent investigation of cyber-intrusions at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where the sensitive information is stored.
Ah, yes. Of course. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – that unaccountable bureaucracy dreamed up by Elizabeth Warren and place out of reach from Congressional oversight.
Why am I not surprised?
But it is rather striking, isn’t it — the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau exposing American consumers’ finances like that?
Thanks to President Trump placing White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney inside the CFPB (over the objections of Warren and other Democrats), we’re getting the truth.
Sperry goes on:
Most people don’t know this, but after President Barack Obama created the CFPB, he had the powerful regulatory agency snoop into virtually every financial account held by Americans to assemble a massive and secret government database as part of the post-financial crisis overhaul of the banking industry.
Without asking if customers wanted to opt in, CFPB has collected and stockpiled from banks more than 600 million credit-card accounts and personal data from millions of home, auto, business and student loans.
And all that data was not secure.
As Sperry points out, the CFPB suffered two hundred and thirty-three confirmed hacks. Plus an additional 840 suspected hacks.
Social security numbers, financial information, loan information – all of it left vulnerable. It seriously boggles the mind.
Back to Sperry’s story:
The main purpose of the databases was to find “statistical patterns” of unfair or racially discriminatory lending to help make cases of bias against private lenders and credit agencies.
CFPB maintained in regulatory notices buried in the Federal Register that all this personal information would be safely stored in “locked file rooms, locked file cabinets” inside a building with “security cameras” and 24-hour security guards and that the computerized records would be “safeguarded through use of access codes.”
But it turns out the agency also shared the codes and files with outside agencies and contractors, including state attorneys general, trial lawyers and civil-rights organizations interested in filing class-action lawsuits against banks, according to regulatory documents and congressional testimony.
In 2015 the Inspector General determined that CFPB “failed to ensure that the data it was collecting on credit card accounts and loans followed new cyber-security safeguards.”
Stop and marvel at the irony that we’re talking about an agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s downright Orwellian.
What’s worse, they didn’t even do background checks on the contractors permitted access to this data.
This is freaking unbelievable.
Mulvaney has put a “data collection freeze” in effect until they can fix this.
But it seems to me that’s like shutting the barn door after the horses have already been hacked.
The truth is, if the Democrats had their way and the former CFPB Director’s pick to head the agency was in place instead of Mulvaney, we probably never would have known about this.