Like most industries today, consumer credit services businesses are significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Troutman Pepper has developed a COVID-19 Resource Center to guide customers through this unprecedented global health challenge. We regularly update this site with news and developments on COVID-19, recommendations from leading health organizations, and tools businesses can use for free.
To help keep you up to date on relevant activities, below is a breakdown of some of the biggest COVID-19 related events at the federal and state levels that have impacted the consumer financial services industry. last week :
Privacy and cybersecurity activities
- On February 18, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin detailing the obligation of student loan servicers to stop illegal behavior regarding borrowers’ eligibility and benefits under the loan waiver waiver. public service loan. The bulletin recommends that equity managers should consider ensuring that they do not misrepresent borrower eligibility or make misleading statements to borrowers about the PSLF program and the waiver. For more information, click here.
- On February 17, the US Department of Justice announced Eun Young Choi as the new director of its National Cryptocurrency Enforcement Team; a new specialized team of cryptocurrency experts within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that focuses on analysis, support and training within the FBI; as well as its intention to innovate its cryptocurrency tools to stay ahead of future threats. For more information, click here.
- On February 16, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that its years-long investigation of DeVry University had led the United States Department of Education to forgive $71.7 million in federal student loans to students deceived by the for-profit university, based in part on FTC Prior Action. For more information, click here.
- On February 16, the CFPB announced that members of the public can submit petitions for rulemaking directly to the CFPB. Petitions will be posted on public registers for review and comment. For more information, click here.
- On Feb. 16, the U.S. Department of Education announced it would suspend garnishment of tax refunds, Social Security payments, and other government payments to collect overdue student loans until November. Student loan debt payments are set to resume on May 1. For more information, click on here.
- On February 16, the Financial Stability Board released an update to the “Crypto-Asset Financial Stability Risk Assessment,” concluding that crypto-asset markets are changing rapidly and could reach a point where they represent a threat to global financial stability due to their scale, structural vulnerabilities and growing interconnectedness with the mainstream financial system. For more information, click here.
- On February 15, the CFPB announced that it was taking action to prevent prepaid card providers from siphoning off Americans’ money through exclusive government benefit contracts. The CFPB issued a compliance bulletin, outlining existing prohibitions against prepaid cards as the only method of distributing government benefits. For more information, click here.
- On February 15, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) announced that he would introduce the “Law on keeping your coins“, which means “[t]o Prohibit federal agencies from restricting a person’s use of convertible virtual currency to purchase goods or services for their own use and for other purposes. On the same day, Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) announced a discussion project of the “Stablecoin Innovation and Protection Act”, which aims to define “qualified stablecoins” to differentiate them from “more volatile cryptocurrencies”.
- On February 15, 18 virtual asset service providers announced the creation of Travel Rule Universal Solution Technology (TRUST), a solution to meet the global anti-money laundering data sharing requirements recommended by the Group of financial action and required by Financial Crimes Enforcement. Network.
- On February 16, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a consumer alert, warning New Yorkers about tracking threats related to the use of AirTags. According to the alert, individuals “reported finding unknown AirTags attached to their cars and in their purses, coat pockets and other personal possessions,” which are “small tracking devices intended to act as a tracking tool. key search to help people locate their personal items”. elements.” Attorney General James made recommendations on how consumers can protect themselves and said, “Tracking people without their knowledge or consent is a serious crime and will not be tolerated by my office. For more information, click here.
- On February 14, New York Attorney General Letitia James issued a press release announcing the recovery of money for consumers who paid for expedited COVID-19 tests but received their results later than the promised time. “It’s simple, testing sites and labs need to follow the law and accurately announce when consumers can expect their results, or they can expect to hear from my office,” said the Attorney General James. Companies would also have been advised to stop misrepresenting turnaround times for results and refund unfairly charged customers in warning letters. For more information, click here.
- On February 14, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Facebook (now known as Meta) for allegedly “capturing and using the biometric data of millions of Texans without properly obtaining their informed consent to do so, by violation of Texas law”. According to a press release announcing the lawsuit, “Facebook has stored millions of biometric identifiers (defined by law as ‘a retina or iris scan, fingerprint, voiceprint, or geometry record. hand or face) contained in photos and videos uploaded by friends. and family who used the social media app,” which allegedly violates “Texas law on the capture or use of biometric identifiers and the Deceptive Marketing Practices Act.” For more information, click here.
Privacy and cybersecurity activities:
- On February 16, the White House Office of Science and Technology released 130 comments received in response to its Request for Information (RFI) on “public and private sector uses of biometric technologies.” The RFI’s comment period began on October 8, 2021 and ended on January 15, 2022. The stated objective of the RFI was to “understand the scope and variety of biometric technologies in the past, the use current or planned; the fields in which these technologies are used; the entities that use them; the current principles, practices or policies governing their use; and stakeholders who are, or may be, impacted by their use or regulation. Many comments referenced the COVID-19 pandemic, many of which focused on how the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of biometric technologies/collection. For more information, click here.
- On February 16, the US House Administration Committee held the first privacy-focused hearing of the new year, titled “Big Data: Privacy Risks and Needed Reforms in the Public and Private Sectors.” The House Administration Committee has not previously focused on data privacy; however, committee chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) co-sponsored the 2019 and 2021 versions of the Online Privacy Act. Last week’s hearing featured expert testimony from nonprofits, academia, and private industry, while largely focusing on the potential need/requirements of federal privacy legislation. Protection of private life. Although this hearing did not focus on the narrow topic of privacy issues related to COVID-19, the case tracing limitations imposed by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) were addressed in written testimony. For more information, click here.