Six tech giants, including Facebook, Square and PayPal, have been ordered to hand over information relating to payments to the U.S. consumer finance watchdog agency.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered information about the payments products, plans and practices of Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Square and PayPal.
The CFPB has been taxed by Congress with ensuring competition is fair in payments markets, given the immense scale of this group of companies and therefore their ability to monetize data on customer spending habits.
“That many Big Tech companies aspire to grow in [the payments] space only heightens these concerns,” the CFPB said in a statement Thursday.
“Will the operators engage in invasive financial surveillance and combine the data they collect on consumers with their geolocation and browsing data? Will they in turn use this data to deepen behavioral advertising, engage in price discrimination, or sell to third parties?” the CFPB listed among its key concerns.
In response, the trade body for the payments industry, the Electronic Transactions Association (ETA), stated its commitment to protecting consumer data and digital transactions.
“The digital transactions industry has a good story to tell about its efforts to protect consumer data,” Jodie Kelley, CEO of the ETA said. “One of the hallmarks of the digital transactions industry is protection of consumer data. From encryption to tokenization, we devote enormous resources to keeping digital transactions secure.”