Top senators on the Senate Finance and Banking committees are demanding that the Federal Trade Commission investigate Envestnet for possibly violating the law by “recklessly selling” Americans’ personal data.
“Financial technology apps, banks and other companies use Yodlee to access, collect and analyze transaction data from consumers’ bank, credit card and other financial accounts,” Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, D-Calif., said Friday in a letter. “Envestnet also sells access to the financial data of tens of millions of Americans.”
Yodlee is the largest consumer financial data aggregator in the United States, according to the lawmakers.
In their letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons, the lawmakers wrote that the consumer data that Envestnet “collects and sells is highly sensitive. Consumers’ credit and debit card transactions can reveal information about their health, sexuality, religion, political views, and many other personal details.”
The more often that consumers’ personal information is bought and sold, the lawmakers wrote, “the greater the risk that it could be the subject of a data breach, like the recent breaches at Equifax and Capital One.”
They expressed concern that Envestnet does not adequately notify consumers that their personal financial data is being sold to third parties, therefore violating the FTC Act’s prohibitions against unfair and deceptive practices.
Envestnet said in a statement that “Envestnet | Yodlee is dedicated to improving the financial lives of consumers and does so in compliance with law and regulations and in accordance with leading industry practices for data security, regulatory compliance and privacy. Importantly, Envestnet | Yodlee never sells data that identifies consumers.”
On its website, the firm added that it welcomes “informed discussion about ways to further data privacy as we continue to build on our pioneering work with financial institutions, regulators and other industry experts.”
— Check out Analysts Trim Envestnet Forecasts Following $100M Lawsuit, CEO’s Warning on ThinkAdvisor.