CFPB's 'NSA-like' surveillance in limbo with leadership tussle

The ongoing fight for control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau may have significant effects on the bureau's mass acquisition of private financial records, according to privacy advocates.

The CFPB pools vast quantities of data for research purposes, including millions of Americans’ credit card records, which it says are anonymized, commercially available and tracked to help consumers, not to spy on them.

Critics doubt the adequacy of safeguards, however, and liken the credit data-collection to the National Security Agency’s monitoring of internet and phone records under laws that allow tracking of spies and terrorists.

Mick Mulvaney, who assumed command of the CFPB on Monday morning, has been broadly critical of the independent agency as a “rogue" organization.