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On June 20, the CFPB published a blog discussing its response to public concerns about workers’ privacy and the risks associated with automated workplace surveillance technology. Automated workplace surveillance technology are used by many employers according to the CFPB.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy recently released a public request for information to learn more about these impacts. In its response, the CFPB outlined the public’s concerns and the potential privacy risks associated with workplace surveillance devices. The CFPB has also embarked on its own inquiry into the data broker industry and the related issues raised by workplace surveillance technology. The CFPB specifically requested information related to:

  • Purchasing Entities. CFPB is gathering information about entities that purchase workers’ information and the role these entities play in disseminating the information.
  • Harmful practices. CFPB is investigating the harmful practices that allow for workers’ information, harvested during or because of an individual’s employment, to find its way into the data broker market.
  • Remedial actions. Automated workplace data is not free from error. Workers therefore look to correct misreported data, especially where the algorithms continually determine earnings, hours, and more. Various issues arise following these attempts to remedy the misinformation gathered by automated surveillance technology. CFPB is looking into the impacts that these retroactive actions have on workers.

Putting It Into Practice: The CFPB has previously investigated the legal protections that endure advancing technologies (see our prior post on automated chatbots). In the wake of employers’ increasing investment in workplace surveillance technologies, federal consumer financial laws may offer a guide to important protections to workers that the CFPB and other regulators may use to ensure employer compliance.