Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Federal Agency Data-Mining Hundreds of Millions of Credit Card Accounts

timothy posted about 7 months ago | from the but-frogs-love-warm-water dept.

United States 264

An anonymous reader writes with this excerpt from the Washington Examiner: "Officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are conducting a massive, NSA-esque data-mining project collecting account information on an estimated 991 million American credit card accounts. It was also learned at a Congressional hearing Tuesday that CFPB officials are working with the Federal Housing Finance Agency on a second data-mining effort, this one focused on the 53 million residential mortgages taken out by Americans since 1998. ...Later in the hearing, [Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Texas] remarked that CFPB 'and NSA are in a contest of who can collect the most information,' ... although the CFPB disagreed with that statement. In previous testimony before Rep. Jeb Hensarling's panel, Antonakes said 'the combined data represents approximately 85-90 percent of outstanding card balances.' The Argus contract specifies that the company must collect 96 'data points' from each of the participating card issuers for each credit card account on a monthly basis. The 96 data points include a unique card-account identification reference number, ZIP code, monthly ending balance, borrower's income, FICO score, credit limit, monthly payment amount, and days past due. 'Would you object to getting permission from consumers, those people who you work for, before you collect and monitor their information?' Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., asked Cordray. 'That would make it impossible to get the data,' Cordray replied."

cancel ×

264 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I'm somewhat disturbed... (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46114877)

That this appears to state every person in the US, regardless of age, has on average three credit cards.

Adjusting out the 17 and unders and the elderly who are less likely to be stacking up credit purchases on retirement budgets, this suggests about 5 cards per person.

Yeek.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (5, Interesting)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 7 months ago | (#46115035)

I think a lot of people have credit cards they no longer use, forgot about, and haven't completly canceled. It wasn't until I got my first house, and so got a long form credit report, that I realized I had a credit card still open that I got in college....for a free t-shirt and CD.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (3, Funny)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#46115215)

Heh, in college, I got a Discover card with a 2 liter bottle of Sunkist soda.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46115265)

Heh, in college, I got a Discover card with a 2 liter bottle of Sunkist soda.

Somewhere I have a T-shirt from a credit card company for filling out an application. (I did get the card and still have it, as my sole credit card) But what tool goes around wearing a [Credit Card Company] shirt?

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

mk1004 (2488060) | about 7 months ago | (#46115301)

The same kind of tool that wears a polo shirt with an alligator image on it (yes, I know, an ancient example), or any number of other clothing items. I guess you were never a teenager.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115323)

somebody who doesn't want to bother wasting a perfectly good tshirt, and needs something to wear when cleaning out gutters or painting a house.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115647)

>what tool goes around wearing a [Credit Card Company] shirt?

A free shirt is a free shirt, man.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (0)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#46115469)

I still have the hat I got with My First Credit Card. It was a nice hat.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (0)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 7 months ago | (#46115525)

Worse yet, it was an AOL CD and a Buzz Killman t-shirt.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 7 months ago | (#46115037)

That this appears to state every person in the US, regardless of age, has on average three credit cards.

The data is surely skewed by "financing" offers. I bought some furniture a couple of years ago and in order to get my discount they effectively opened a credit card account (basically same as Macy's cards and their ilk). Of course I never used it beyond paying off my balance, because the rates were atrocious. But I believe it would count as an extra account.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46115245)

That this appears to state every person in the US, regardless of age, has on average three credit cards.

The data is surely skewed by "financing" offers. I bought some furniture a couple of years ago and in order to get my discount they effectively opened a credit card account (basically same as Macy's cards and their ilk). Of course I never used it beyond paying off my balance, because the rates were atrocious. But I believe it would count as an extra account.

I wasn't comfortable with having many cards. I did have one from a few department stores, back when I was first trying build a credit score. I purposely closed each one of them, but one, which expired and was closed out by the store (I was in Chicago on a trip and saw a cool jacket I wanted - the store did not take my Visa card, but would take American Express or their store card, so they opened a store card account with a tiny little limit.) I know where I have accounts and within $100 what the balances are on them. As I'm rapidly approaching a positive net I'm getting an absolute shower of offers, pre-approvals, etc. Including these scary things from financial institutions listed as on Tribal Lands, which have some of the most alarming interest rates I've ever seen.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (3, Funny)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about 7 months ago | (#46115383)

There is a British company named Wonga who's APR is just a tad over 5850%

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46115603)

There is a British company named Wonga who's APR is just a tad over 5850%

And NUFC forward Papiss Cissé objected to wearing the shirt sponsor's logo on moral and religious grounds. Fair play to him.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#46115643)

Wait until you buy a house. When we bought ours we were flooded with credit card offers, one week the total value of all the card offers was $250,000. That was 50% more than we had just paid for the house.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (2)

vux984 (928602) | about 7 months ago | (#46115287)

Pretty much this. Everytime I walk into a Sear or Target or anything else they want me to pay with their store credit card and offer from 15 to 25% off my purchase to apply for one.

At the moment, I have one CC I use for almost everything. My wife uses a spousal card so we accumulate rewards on one card. She has her own card as well so she has credit in her own name...

But sure, last time I bought a home, I closed a few pointless credit accounts that I'd opened over the years for various signing benefits as part of "cleaning up my credit". I had a department store card I'd signed up for to get a 25% discount off my couch some years ago and never used again, and another visa that was attached to a gas station that at the time i signed up had a promo that gave me 15 cents a liter off the pump price, and i stopped using it after the promo ended... etc.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ffkom (3519199) | about 7 months ago | (#46115063)

The text didn't state that all accounts were active ones. But yes, US citizens seem to have have a strong habit to live on credit. As a non-US citizen I was surprised to learn that permanently being in debt is so popular even amongst well earning people. That is very different where I live (Germany), where credit cards are not quite as popular.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (4, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | about 7 months ago | (#46115151)

It takes that many cards to hold all the debt an average American family has

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog... [nerdwallet.com]

O_o
That's crazy high!

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46115309)

It takes that many cards to hold all the debt an average American family has

http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog... [nerdwallet.com]

O_o
That's crazy high!

About 9 years back I received a pre-approved offer for a credit card (Visa, IIRC) with a limit of $100,000. I tore that sucker up into teensy-weensy bits. The utterly bizarre thing was I didn't gross that at the time (though I was close.)

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 7 months ago | (#46115537)

About 9 years back I received a pre-approved offer for a credit card (Visa, IIRC) with a limit of $100,000. I tore that sucker up into teensy-weensy bits.

I've got a couple like that.

I use them regularly, and (hopefully) annoy the CC company by paying my bill, in full, every single month.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (1)

ls671 (1122017) | about 7 months ago | (#46115613)

Those "pre-approved offer" are just a marketing scheme. They don't do any credit checks before sending them out.

The credit check occurs when you reply to the offer. Then, they may refuse you or say; "After review, we can provide you with a limit of $5,000 or $10,000.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115197)

Depends on what you're counting. Until recently I had three, but only one actively used one. Two are check cards that accessed my two checking accounts. Technically these were tied to a visa account, but were never used as such. Oh, come to think of it, I actually have 4 cards, as my credit card company sent me two versions of my card, one mastercard, one american express. Three of those cards sit in a drawer in my desk, only coming out when needed. the 4th just functions as a barrier between my cash and my stores, getting paid off in full each month.

So there you go, at least one person with far more cards than he needs, even though he's arguably in charge of his money.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about 7 months ago | (#46115211)

I have three "credit cards". I have a bank debit card, a paypal debit card, and then a credit card that's an actual credit card.

Technically if you count the cheesy ass HSA debit card that my employer considers "health insurance", then I've got four. Only one of them is a "real" credit card (as in, buying things on money I don't have).

Easy to get a lot of cards (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46115255)

Five cards per person sounds about right.

You usually get a card or two while in college, and then as you move on you get other cards you use more. But there's no need to cancel the old cards, which you can keep for an emergency.

And there are cards for different uses - some cards I use for international purchases as they do not charge a conversion fee, but I don't use them the rest of the time.

Some cards also get you rewards for different things depending on the purchase made.

As long you carry no debt it doesn't hurt to have a lot of credit cards, and just owning and lightly using credit cards gives you a good credit history.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (3, Interesting)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 7 months ago | (#46115271)

I have about 15 cards. Only use three of them. The rest are ones I got for the signup bonuses, or have stopped using because other cards offered a better deal (points, cashback, etc.). Unless there's an annual fee, there's no good reason to close them, so they sit in the safe.

Re:I'm somewhat disturbed... (2)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 7 months ago | (#46115281)

I have several credit cards. None of them charge me to have an account, and they all have a zero balance. They're useful when renting a car, as car rental companies don't like debit cards, and they also came in useful when my credit union froze my debit card until I convinced them that donating to the neoN900 project wasn't suspicious activity. Having credit cards isn't necessarily identical to having debt.

Different from the NSA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46114889)

If you conduct a financial transaction in the USA it is not private in any way. This includes information on your account balances and your income, which the IRS is already required to know about. The FICO score and other credit information is interesting though: this is the first time the government has ever bothered to look at the private credit market's practices in a substantial manner beyond giving people the right to know what their FICO score is.

Re:Different from the NSA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46114955)

If you conduct a financial transaction in the USA it is not private in any way.

Which is immoral, by the way. Just because the government doesn't understand privacy doesn't mean things shouldn't be private. And this is partly why I pay in cash and barely ever give my name out unless absolutely necessary.

Re:Different from the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115139)

Other than you don't agree with it, how is monitoring financial trends with enough fidelity to analyze it against location, income bracket, race, etc. in order to make informed social economic decisions immoral?

The republicans are just trying to prevent the collection of evidence that may disprove the theories behind their policy decisions.

Re:Different from the NSA (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115305)

Because I believe people have a right to privacy and that governments and corporations shouldn't be tracking everything we do or buy. That simple. The fact that you're willing to trade all this way in exchange for the ability to make "informed social economic decisions" speaks volumes about how principled you are.

My concept of privacy is, as you can imagine, different from the government's, so don't give me nonsense about the status quo.

Re:Different from the NSA (1)

tranquilidad (1994300) | about 7 months ago | (#46115771)

I don't expect the government to be making ANY social economic decisions, informed or otherwise.

Expecting, or even allowing, the government to make those decisions reverses the relationship that should exist between citizen and government. If, on the other hand, we were subjects then they could probably do damn well as they please.

Re:Different from the NSA (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115095)

> your account balances and your income, which the IRS is already required to know about.

The part about account balances is not correct. Your 1099-INT does not contain your account balances. I've worked in a bank for nearly twenty years, and other than when we get court orders, I've never heard of someone giving an account balance to the IRS. I know for a fact there's no automated way for them to get that information since I'm the only person here that could write that code. The interest is reported because you pay taxes on it, but they do not receive the balance.

> people the right to know what their FICO score is.

You're wrong again. You do not have the right to know your FICO score. Fair, Isaac, and Company has no legal requirement to tell you their score. You do have the right to a copy of your credit report, but the FICO score is something else entirely.

Re:Different from the NSA (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about 7 months ago | (#46115185)

If interest is reported, then there is an easy calculation to get the balance.

Re:Different from the NSA (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#46115239)

Unless you took it all out half way through the year....

Re:Different from the NSA (2)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 7 months ago | (#46115299)

If interest is reported, then there is an easy calculation to get the balance.

No, there's really not. If my 1099 reports $100 in interest, I could have (using the rates on accounts I actually have) anywhere from $4k in the account (if it's my 2.5% checking account) to $111k (if it's my 0.1% checking account).

In addition, even if you did know the rate on the account, you'd only know the average balance through the year - that $100 in interest could mean that I had $111k in my checking account all year, or $5 million for a week.

Re:Different from the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115501)

You have a 2.5% checking account??? What bank? I want in!

Re:Different from the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115331)

Wow, you failed algebra. How do you solve an equation for two unknowns? You know the amount of interest, but not the interest rate or the principal.

interest amount = principal * interest rate

The IRS knows only one of the values. For example, I received two 1099-INTs this week. Both had nearly the same amount of interest, but one account had a balance about 180 times larger. One account paid almost 8% (money market that I got lucky on) and the other is a checking account that pays 0.5% interest. Do the math, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Re:Different from the NSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115477)

You are naive. You're the ONLY PERSON... right... I will tell you this, sure the databases YOU work with, the code YOU work with, may not do it. But do you really think that's the only place that information is stored? Only your database is accessed? Really? That they would give ALL THE POWER to ONE INDIVIDUAL, YOU, FOR TWENTY YEARS, at the bank. No. That tells me a lot about you. You don't understand banking regulations. You don't understand the OSI model. You don't even understand basic concepts such as port mirroring. You don't understand anything beyond 1990 technology from your statements. Don't even get me started on security. And to think you are "in charge" of people's money, so you say. "Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Think, McFly! Think!"

People wonder how these data breaches at companies, banks, etc. happen. Here you go. This guy is the reason why.

Is it possible you and the bank management are that dumb? No, you have to be a fucking liar. If not, tell us the bank name, so we can keep our money out of it. Fucking amateurs posing as seasoned veterans. "I'm a 20 year veteran!" ...at what? Formatting floppies?

Re:Different from the NSA (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 7 months ago | (#46115543)

If you conduct a financial transaction in the USA it is not private in any way.

Irrelevant. The US government is not allowed to aggregate data and compile dossiers on every citizen. There is a difference between an "expectation of privacy" and being stalked or having automated fishing expeditions..etc being run against people for any reason where there is no specific cause or reason to suspect.

How is this spying? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46114891)

Data collection is pretty much assumed in order to monitor banks and credit card companies. These people complaining are the same people who passed protectionist acts in the bankruptcy abuse act of 2005. Strange congress/financial companies passed this right before the financial crash of 2008.

The proper word is surveillance (1, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | about 7 months ago | (#46115763)

You are right, spying is not the best word. This is untargetted mass surveillance. "Spying" implies something more targetted.

Biased Much? (4, Insightful)

rabtech (223758) | about 7 months ago | (#46114903)

In order to regulate credit card companies and banks, the CFPB needs to know what is happening with these financial products.

It would appear that the banks' astroturf campaign is in full swing trying to get people riled up.

Re:Biased Much? (1, Flamebait)

DarkOx (621550) | about 7 months ago | (#46114963)

You know how you can get that information you take a god damned poll. You don't invade people's privacy without their knowing.

This is the sort of thing that makes me wish the GOP luck in blocking Obama's appointments.

'Would you object to getting permission from consumers, those people who you work for, before you collect and monitor their information?' Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., asked Cordray. 'That would make it impossible to get the data,' Cordray replied."

Seriously, people who think like Cordray should be tar'ed and feathered and left to die in the street.

Re:Biased Much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115191)

Rope is cheaper.

Re:Biased Much? (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46114979)

In order to regulate credit card companies and banks, the CFPB needs to know what is happening with these financial products.

And that requires 96 data points, some of which obviously have nothing to do with the financial products themselves, but rather uniquely identify the individuals who hold said financial products?

My ass.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 7 months ago | (#46114981)

In order to regulate credit card companies and banks, the CFPB needs to know what is happening with these financial products.

You would think that perhaps "unique card-account identification reference number" could be omitted to try to anonymize the data?
Possibly even convert the data values into sub-ranges (income 60K-70K, 70K-80K, etc.), if all you need is to find out "what is happening" with financial products.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#46115007)

I think the "unique numbers" in this case are basically just acting like primary keys in a database. They can't actually use the credit card numbers, so they just set a PK for each account's information instead. Nothing sinister there at all.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46115183)

I think the "unique numbers" in this case are basically just acting like primary keys in a database. They can't actually use the credit card numbers, so they just set a PK for each account's information instead. Nothing sinister there at all.

Do you know what all of the 96 data points they're mining are?

If so, by all means, give us a link.

If not, then you're blowing smoke.

Re:Biased Much? (3, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#46115455)

Making a comment about how having a "unique identifier" for a data set is required to do anything with the data - that is, Database 101 - is blowing smoke? I can think of 96 data points pretty easily, none of which will require the person's name, SSN, or credit card number. Zip code, age, income level, interest rate, card level, total outstanding debt, number of other credit cards, years on credit history, credit card max, number of credit card increases, number of credit history inquiries, education level, total number of purchases, interest rate changes, total number of late payments, total amount of later fees, annual fees, bonus points available, bonus points earned, total number of cards issue, total number of fraud inquiries, total number of document fraud reimbursements amount of fraud reimbursements, total purchases, average number of purchases a month - and then break each of those things that are variables down by the last five years per card. Bam, you're at well over a hundred.

Re:Biased Much? (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46115029)

Right, so regulating banks requires abject surrender of all financial privacy.

I'll keep that in mind the next time someone argues that defending against terrorists doesn't require PRISM and the TSA.

Or maybe I'll just chalk up your silly shit to the double standards you indulge on behalf of your world view.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#46115291)

You have already surrendered that privacy to the banks. If you don't let regulators have it too, exactly how effective do you think they will be?

The only way to roll it back is to pass new laws that eliminate the Third Party Doctrine.

Re:Biased Much? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 7 months ago | (#46115637)

"In order to regulate credit card companies and banks, the CFPB needs to know what is happening with these financial products."

"Knowing what is happening with these... products" does not require monthly financial information on every adult in America.

Of course the official said asking for permission would make it impossible to get the data. Nobody in their right minds would give permission.

Fucking Feds. (2, Insightful)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46114905)

Everyone you know, everywhere you go, everything you say, everything you buy.

Data like this is not about protecting us from terrorism, it is about setting up the US Federal Gov't as the largest terrorist organization in the world today, directly softly at its own citizens ... for the present.

Re:Fucking Feds. (1)

anagama (611277) | about 7 months ago | (#46114937)

first post attempt typos:

directly: directed

and to clarify, while the power inherent in such vast data collection is only softly directed at US citizens in the present time, there is no other way this goes but toward a purely despotic control of the citizenry in the future.

Re:Fucking Feds. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115149)

Terrorists? Guess you missed the part about how CFPB is about protecting `consumers' from `predatory' banks.

Re:Fucking Feds. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46115213)

Terrorists? Guess you missed the part about how CFPB is about "protecting" consumers

FTFY.

Re:Fucking Feds. (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#46115285)

because that is the ONLY USE FOR THE DATA EVER. seriously guy, are you naive enough to think that a) the scope of the data usage won't change B) other government agencies won't have access to said data C) that once this level of data collection is swallowed without outrage, it won't either remain perpetually as the standard, or be expanded farther? (or is this a huge 'woosh'?)

Re:Fucking Feds. (3, Interesting)

ls671 (1122017) | about 7 months ago | (#46115313)

Everyone you know, everywhere you go, everything you say, everything you buy.

Sounds to me just like:

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I'll be watching you

http://www.lyricsfreak.com/s/s... [lyricsfreak.com]

First data point? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46114921)

Stay frosty, folks.

All that information that they are collecting. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46114935)

All that information that they are going to collect has been collected without our permission for decades by the credit bureaus. ChoicePoint and the other background check companies (private spy agencies) accumulate even more data.

We are also having to put more information on the web - like LinkedIN - in order to get employment. (I was told by several companies that they do ALL their recruitment via LinkedIN. )

Do you really think when you apply for that job online via the outsourced web/HR firm that your data is kept confidential?!

Aside from protecting myself from petty criminals (like publishing my SSN and DOB), I have pretty resided that my information is freely available to government and corporate interests and there is not a goddamn thing I can do about it.

It's big business to pimp our data so that they configure out how to sell us more shit and how much they can charge for their shit.

My only hope is that the CFPB will use this data wisely and find bank mistakes in our favor and order them to correct it.

Re:All that information that they are collecting. (4, Insightful)

Kasar (838340) | about 7 months ago | (#46115403)

The difference between private companies gathering data to create files and profiles on people is that they lack the legal standing of government. They can't arrest anyone based on a suspicion of anything, even if that a person is a deadbeat, while the government doesn't need a warrant or any specific law violation under the NDAA to incarcerate a person indefinitely.

Alternatively, tie the financial with the capture and collection of all electronic communications and interactions, and finding dirt on anyone who becomes a political opponent or a valuable blackmail target becomes easier for those with access.

/tinfoil hat off

Want privacy? (5, Insightful)

tsprig (167046) | about 7 months ago | (#46114939)

... become Amish.

Re:Want privacy? (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46115279)

I'm glad this is currently modded insightful rather than funny.
I'm really calling for a Scary/Sad tag though...

Re:Want privacy? (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 7 months ago | (#46115319)

... and then get them to shun you.

Re:Want privacy? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#46115433)

... and then get them to shun you.

It's like getting slapped with silence.

- D. K. Schrute.

Re:Want privacy? (4, Insightful)

hebertrich (472331) | about 7 months ago | (#46115371)

man .. the americans are so fu**** coming and going it's a wonder they do not take arms and revolt.
sheep . little tiny babies with no balls to end this .they simply roll over and ask for more.

pathetic
America is pathetic beyond belief.

Re:Want privacy? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 7 months ago | (#46115493)

I'm just going to guess that you're a male who isn't responsible for a family yet. You don't sound like someone who's balanced difficult moral trade-offs yet. Here's my take on it:

For the most part, a given region doesn't produce enough food, medicine, or fuel for itself.

If we revolted, there would be a major disruption in our commerce and transportation networks. Without fuel, we'd run out of electricity, and then not have clean water nor proper sewage disposal. We'd possibly see dysentery and malnutrition in just months. The first winter would be as deadly as what the Pilgrims experienced. There would be mass attempted exodus, but we might find Canada and/or Mexico forcibly stopping us from entering their countries. My wife, who's a Type 1 diabetic, would probably get very sick and perhaps die form the disruption in insulin supply.

I think that's a pretty big price to pay in exchange for heightened privacy. I'm sure the calculation would change if our government became more authoritarian, but that hasn't clearly happened yet.

Re:Want privacy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115745)

People like you would have had us never split off from Britain....

Grow some balls. Gotta pay to play.

It's not private... (4, Insightful)

laird (2705) | about 7 months ago | (#46114947)

While it's creepy, in the US your credit card transaction is not private - it's collected by credit card companies and massively data mined (and has been for decades) for direct marketing, credit scoring, etc., used by companies to sell products to consumers and to drive them as deeply as possible into debt.

The only "news" here is that the government is data mining to benefit consumers rather than to exploit them. That's clearly crossing the line.

Re:It's not private... (4, Interesting)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46114995)

The only "news" here is that the government is data mining to benefit consumers rather than to exploit them. That's clearly crossing the line.

Right; because as we all know, if the US government says they're doing something for Reason X, we should totally take their word for it. It's not like they have whole departments convinced that their job is to lie to the American People, right?

Reminds me of the only thing Reagan said I ever agreed with: "The most frightening words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government, and I'm here to help.'"

Re:It's not private... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115089)

Yes because when the government collects census data it's for evil!

We freely give out our private informations to corporations all the time. We allow technology companies have unprecedented access to our routines and our geographical locations. It's not until the government does something like monitor credit card transactions (which is available to any corporation out there that is willing to pay for the monitoring) we become upset.

A lot of the people who look for every privacy violation done by the government are the very same ones who allow Google, Facebook, Amazon, Canonical, and others to data mine the shit out of them.

Re:It's not private... (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46115251)

Yes because when the government collects census data it's for evil!

So.. do you not know the difference between "voluntary" and "compulsory"?

Surely you're not so dense as to fail to recognize the difference between voluntary trade with a company that can't harm your liberty, and compulsory data-mining from a government that can?

Re:It's not private... (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about 7 months ago | (#46115423)

who allow Google, Facebook, Amazon, Canonical, and others to data mine the shit out of them.

The key word there is allow. Google, et al don't collect data in secret, they have privacy policies, and using their services is completely optional. The government is doing this in secret, without your permission with no opt-in or opt-out, with nothing akin to a privacy policy, and by their own admission they cannot secure the data.

Re:It's not private... (1)

wasteoid (1897370) | about 7 months ago | (#46115551)

How about from Reagan's inaugural address: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

Define "not private" (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#46115329)

While it's creepy, in the US your credit card transaction is not private

Are you saying, given a name I could arbitrarily pull up credit transactions for that person?

I do not think so. The fact that I cannot means that data is private.

Now credit card company can share that data with whoever it likes - in private - so long as I agree to that, which we all do in credit card agreements. But just because there is a subset of people who can see it, does not mean it is not private...

Nor does it mean that a federal agency should be able to see transaction by transaction history for every single person in the U.S. They could do the job they need to with a much broader and filtered overview of data.

Re:It's not private... (2)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about 7 months ago | (#46115405)

That's it exactly. Not only is this data not private, it has never been private. It has always been sold between companies, and is the entire basis for a multi-billion dollar industry. The CFPB is simply purchasing this information at the market price, just like hundreds of other companies do on a routine basis. As the joke goes, capitalists will sell the rope to hang themselves.

You can bet the NSA collects this exact same information. The NSA collects this information to conduct drone strikes, and find citizens to murder. The CFBP wants to use this information to regulate banks. Yet, this congressman doesn't talk about the NSA. Does it surprise anyone at all, that banking & finance sectors contribute heavily to his wallet? http://www.opensecrets.org/pol... [opensecrets.org]

This is another politican who has been bought and paid for, and is fighting against the best interests of the people he supposedly represents.

Re:It's not private... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115409)

Assuming the summary is correct, they only get credit balances and payment info and not individual purchase history! Your credit card company already *SELLS* that to lots of people and that's far worse because it reveals potentially very private information... No big deal here.

Oh look.... (1, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | about 7 months ago | (#46114969)

Republicans have discovered another way to shut down the government: just prevent it from collecting any data required to do its job.

Regulatory agency needs to collect data on credit cards to determine whether credit card providers are up to illegal shenanigans, or what kind of regulations are too little, just right, or overkill? Tell them that they're like the NSA, need to be shut down and the bureaucrats strung up high.

I'm wondering when they will apply this to healthcare and the IRS. What better way from preventing them from operating than to deny them access to any data? Bonuspoint: Republicans get to point out how ineffective the Federal Government is, and how it should all just be dismantled.

No promise is more self-fulfilling than that of a government official who insists that government is bad. It's the only position where doing a horrible job actually gets you a promotion. And I don't mean that in the cynical, "the-sheep-don't-know-who-they're-voting" way, I mean that quite literally: some Republicans go into office to demonstrate how bad government is, do all kinds of things that destroys the ability of the government to do anything (hello government shutdown...), and then go back to their constituents and say "See how bad government is? I was right! Vote for me!"

Re:Oh look.... (0, Flamebait)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 7 months ago | (#46115031)

The most accurate campaign slogan for a Republican today is: "Washington is broken. Elect me to go there so I can prove it."

Re:Oh look.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115079)

Republicans have discovered another way to shut down the government: just prevent it from collecting any data required to do its job.

You make this sound like it is a bad thing.

"That government is best which governs least" -- Thoreau

Re:Oh look.... (1)

Mitreya (579078) | about 7 months ago | (#46115427)

Republicans have discovered another way to shut down the government: just prevent it from collecting any data required to do its job.

Regulatory agency needs to collect data on credit cards to determine whether credit card providers are up to illegal shenanigans, or what kind of regulations are too little, just right, or overkill?

I don't think so.
They (CFPB) should anonymize the damn data, unless they are required to have trace-able unique identifiers and exact amounts to do their job. Is their job to survey the credit card provider performance or to collect enough data to later send individualized (get out of debt) offers to cardholders?

Re:Oh look.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115467)

> just prevent it from collecting any data required to do its job.

Exactly. The stupid CONservatives want to make it impossible for the government to do business. Instead of facilitating that goal, they're pure obstructionists. Just look at how much they object to the new ACA healthcare reporting. If your healthcare records aren't given to the government they have no way to detect and prosecute fraud. That is why the government must have access to our records.

So. Better to beg forgiveness. (-1, Troll)

Chas (5144) | about 7 months ago | (#46114999)

Than ask and be told no..

So, basically the government is telling us that they're going to collect data on us regardless of our wishes, laws, etc.
And if they get caught? Aw shucky-darn! They'll act apologetic and KEEP ON DOING IT!

Fuckers are lucky I don't own a gun.

Re:So. Better to beg forgiveness. (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | about 7 months ago | (#46115439)

I didn't really see anything I'd call "apologetic" in this particular article.

Give me a break (4, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | about 7 months ago | (#46115011)

These two things are nothing alike. This sounds like a Republican attempt to induce some guilt by association for the CFPB, which they hate so much.

First, there's the fact that we're hearing about this in a Congressional hearing directly from agency personnel, with numerous details. As opposed to having agency personnel lie directly to Congress, and that only after a leak.

Second, why do we think the CFPB is collecting this information? Um, probably to see if credit card and mortgage companies are engaging in predatory lending practices, or abiding by regulations, or to better understand consumer financial behavior in the U.S. You know, things within their mandate. As opposed to the NSA, which has no business dealing with domestic intelligence.

Now there are legitimate concerns about the quality of anonymization, why they can't use a sampling technique, who the contractor is, and what federal agencies should have access to the data. Note that these are everyday issues that the U.S. Census Bureau and the IRS deal with all the time.

Not surprising to see this coming from the Washington Examiner, which if you don't know, is DC's right-leaning daily.

No. You give *me* a break (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115263)

Your post sounds like a Democratic attempt to whitewash an overweening government performing activities the average citizen probably would not approve of.

It's these very kinds of activities - of which you seem quite happy with - that chip away at freedom bit by bit.

But when you're a statist who thinks a huge government is great thing that can "solve problems", you really don't care that for a government to get the power to solve problems it has to take resources and freedom away from its citizens.

Do my taxes for me, then (2)

Kevoco (64263) | about 7 months ago | (#46115015)

If the govt insists on crawling up my ass with a microscope, then they should have the common decency to emerge with a completed IRS Form 1040

Re:Do my taxes for me, then (2)

jratcliffe (208809) | about 7 months ago | (#46115335)

They would. The IRS would like to shift to a model where they send you your return (based on the info they have), and you either say "cool," or "nope, not right, here's my tax return." For a very large portion of Americans, who just generate wage and interest income, and don't itemize deductions, it would be much less hassle, reduce errors, etc.

BUT...Intuit and H&R Block have lobbied against it tooth and nail, for obvious reasons.

Re:Do my taxes for me, then (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115355)

Actually Democrats have proposed mailing out a completed tax form that would work for most filers and letting people sign that if they don't see anything wrong or that they would do differently. Republicans have stopped this every time using a variety of reasons of why it would be bad. The clearest I can see is they believe government is too big and people should be forced to do the paperwork so they'll agree there are too many rules and too much bureaucracy and thus be more likely to vote for smaller government or at least tax "reform". Which I think just means they'll get rich selling new tax exemptions and special cases proposed by donors and lobbyists, or for the true believers an opportunity to raise taxes on the moochers and lower taxes for high income earners in the name of fairness.

It's cynical but I can't think of a single Republican tax "reform" that doesn't end up lowering taxes on the rich. Don't get me wrong, I'm for lowering taxes if possible, but you can't rail about the evils of the debt and large deficits while proposing to reduce government revenue. Let's balance the budget and at least prove we could pay off the debt before giving out unfunded tax breaks, especially to the already wealthy.

2014, not 1984 (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46115105)

But the government has finally figured out how to track and eventually control everyone. Just not fully implemented.

Alternate Headline (2)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 7 months ago | (#46115107)

"Pro-Capital GOP uses NSA Leaks as New Excuse to Attack Consumer Protection Agency They Never Liked."

Left, or Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115147)

Left, or Right, a police state looks the same.

"Impossible" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115195)

You keep using that word.

The Basic Problem Is (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#46115237)

That YOU HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY when you disclose data to third parties.

It's a basic characteristic of the current legal system. It lets the post office accumulate files of the outside of every envelope that passes through their system, it allows the NSA to search metadata associated with every phone call and tcp/ip packet that passes over the internet, and it allows collection of this sort of information without any oversight from the courts.

It's called the Third Party Doctrine.

Since modern systems never forget, it means technology has handed government vastly greater surveillance powers.

The only way to change it is to get laws changed. In some cases, like health care records there are laws that prohibit this. BUT not in general.

leather belt (1)

noshellswill (598066) | about 7 months ago | (#46115277)

History teaches if a leather strap were taken to Cordrays' *zzwhole and a bamboo cane  rapped across his knuckles ... and  such treatment repeated for Cordrays boss ... and his boss ... and his boss ... all the way up this Obama.nation  gestapo power-chain then the  snarky invasive behavior would eventually end. 

Conservative Trolls Are Taking Over Slashdot (3, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 7 months ago | (#46115447)

The first two stories on the front page of Slashdot are based on articles from conservative troll publications, the Washington Examiner and the Daily Mail.

It's really getting ridiculous around here.

Re:Conservative Trolls Are Taking Over Slashdot (0)

gabrieltss (64078) | about 7 months ago | (#46115783)

And liberals are turning this country into a Police State faster than the Republicans did... Both are flat out LOSERS!!! Especially dictator Obaaaamaa Seig Heil!!! He should go back to his gay bathhouse in Chicago...

Because.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115557)

The first thing we have to do to protect you, is exploit you. Always.

Why we Americans would object (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46115593)

1. Because it's unreasonable search.

2. Because it's unreasonable seizure.

3. Because it's none of your damned business.

4. Because we have an inherent right to privacy.

5. See 1. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Do not shred the Constitution.

Fuck Me ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46115677)

SO that explains how the rich have managed to target the middle class for global extinction

Time for some massvie SQL injection attacks (1)

gabrieltss (64078) | about 7 months ago | (#46115773)

Seems maybe we should be finding ways to make some massive SQL injections attacks on these massive databases with some simple "drop table" or "drop database" SQL injections. Time to take back our 4th amendment!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>