FinRegLab Events

Data Symposium: The Role of Consumers in the Data Ecosystem

FinRegLab and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco fintech team hosted a symposium titled “The Role of Consumers in the Data Ecosystem” on November 4-5, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. The event involved more than 130 stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, including not only industry, advocates, researchers, and regulators who focus on U.S. financial services but also perspectives from other sectors and countries.

The symposium discussions helped to inform our February 2020 report, The Use of Cash-Flow Data in Underwriting Credit: Market Context & Policy Analysis, as well as a June 2020 report by SFFRB fintech team member Kaitlin Asrow, The Role of Individuals in the Data Ecosystem: Current Debates and Considerations for Data Protection and Data Rights in the United States.

About the Event

As new financial technologies emerge, consumers have an ever-increasing array of options for using and sharing financial data. The continued growth of data-related innovations is poised to further accelerate the rate of data generation and sharing, as well as elevate associated conerns about data use and handling.

Policymakers, regulators, and other stakeholders have been working to set standards and expand the collective understanding of legal and technical issues related to consumer financial data. But more remains to be done, including understanding the appropriate role of consumers in this evolving ecosystem. A handful of key questions continue to commonly surface in debates, including: Who owns data? Who has the right to access one’s data? Who may exercise control over consumer data


DAY ONE – Monday, November 4, 2019

Session 1: The Interplay of Protection and Individual Choice

How to balance the necessity of consumer protection with the consumer’s feedom of choice and individual preferences with regard to data?

Session 2: “Ownership” in the Digital Realm: Is It Possible?

Can legal constructs of ‘ownership’ apply to data? How do we define which data a consumer should have some amount of power over?

Session 3: Defining the Role of Consumers

What avenues do consumers have to act upon their own data? How might these roles be beneficial or challenging in their own lives?

Session 4: Consumer Input and Awareness

What roles do consumers themselves want to have around data? How should the ecosystem engage with consumers to enable their preferred roles?

Session 5: Diversity of Consumer Preference

Is it possible to address differing consumer preferences around what their roles around data could, or should, be? Could an active data management role disadvantage certain consumer populations, and if so, what is the potential for trusted intermediaries to mitigate this?

Session 6: Opportunities and Challenges for Society

Where could increases in consumer’s ability to act upon their data preferences have positive externalities such as increased inclusion and competitive innovation or negative externalities such as systemic risk? How should we balance individual empowerment with larger societal impacts?

Closing Presentation: Nonrivalry and the Economics of Data

DAY TWO – Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Session 7: U.S. Data Governance Frameworks

How do existing U.S. financial and data governance frameworks, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act, and the California Consumer Privacy Act, address consumers’ ability to engage with, and act upon, their data?

Session 8: Parallels and Divergence across Finance, Health and Education

How do different sectors think about the role of consumers in the data ecosystem? Are there similarities between finance, health, and education in regard to consumer data? Are there differences that may require independent approaches to data governance?

Session 9: International Data Governance Frameworks

How do existing international financial and data governance frameworks, such as the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the UK’s Open Banking directive, and India’s Draft Data Protection Bill combined with Aadhaar numbers, address consumers’ ability to engage with, and act upon, their data?

Tech-talk 1: Consent Flows and Dashboards

What technology processes and platforms are in use today that address consumers’ ability to engage with, and act upon, their data?

Tech-talk 2: Digital Identity

How could the concept and implementation of ‘digital identities’ impact consumers’ ability to engage with, and act upon, their data?

Tech-talk 3: Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

What technologies exist today, and potentially in the future, that could enhance consumer protection and privacy while still enabling consumer choice and the use of data for innovative products?

Related Publications

  • Consumer Financial Data: Legal and Regulatory Landscape

    FinRegLab partnered with the Financial Health Network, Flourish Ventures, and Mitchell Sandler to provide a working paper summarizing the current U.S. federal legal framework governing consumer financial data with the goal of laying a foundation for future policy analyses and discussions.

  • Data diversification in Credit Underwriting

    This update catalogues recent initiatives involving the use of non-traditional credit data, including cash-flow information. It considers how dramatic shifts in economic conditions due to the Covid-19 pandemic and mass movements for racial justice have increased incentives to adopt new data sources and models, but also created new market and policy challenges.

  • The Use of Cash-Flow Data in Underwriting Credit: Market Context & Policy Analysis

    This report provides a detailed snapshot of the use of cash-flow data in U.S. consumer lending and the development of the system for transferring data between firms, in addition to analyzing policy and regulatory issues raised by cash-flow underwriting in both consumer and small business credit markets.

  • The Use Of Cash-Flow Data In Underwriting Credit: Policy Overview

    This overview highlights key themes from our longer market context and policy analysis, including outlining options for action by industry, regulators, and Congress.

  • The Use Of Cash-Flow Data In Underwriting Credit: Small Business Spotlight

    This report details the evolution of the use of cash-flow data in small business lending. It explains the reasons why electronic cash-flow data may be particularly useful in the small business context, presents evidence of its increasing use by a diverse range of incumbents and new entrants, and notes market and policy issues that may…

  • The Use of Cash-Flow Data in Underwriting Credit

    Records from consumers’ deposit and card accounts and from small businesses’ accounting software can provide a relatively detailed and comprehensive picture of how applicants manage their finances on an ongoing basis. FinRegLab conducted an empirical assessment of the data’s benefits and risks, as well as market and policy analyses of the challenges to its wider… Learn More

About FinregLab

FinRegLab is an independent, nonprofit organization that conducts research and experiments with new technologies and data to drive the financial sector toward a responsible and inclusive marketplace. The organization also facilitates discourse across the financial ecosystem to inform public policy and market practices. To receive periodic updates on the latest research, subscribe to FRL’s newsletter and visit Follow FinRegLab on LinkedIn and Twitter (X). | 1701 K Street Northwest, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20006