To help you keep abreast of relevant activities, below find a breakdown of some of the biggest events at the federal and state levels to impact the Consumer Finance Services industry this past week:

Federal Activities

State Activities

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities

Federal Activities:

  • On July 13, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published its proposed Motor Vehicle Dealers Trade Regulation Rule in the Federal Register. The proposed rule would create a host of new compliance challenges for motor vehicle dealers, including a new national standard for price advertising, trigger disclosures for payments, added paperwork for the sale of add-on products, a prohibition on “no benefit” add-on products, and additional recordkeeping requirements. The deadline to submit comments is September 12. For more information, click here.
  • On July 13, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions published their guidance on the application of financial market infrastructure rules to stablecoins. For more information, click here.
  • On July 11, the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, the BIS Innovation Hub, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank release a joint report titled, “Options for access to and interoperability of CBDCs for cross-border payments.” For more information, click here.
  • On July 8, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Copyright Office indicated they would conduct a joint study on the current and potential future applications of non-fungible token (NFT) and various NFT challenges. In June, Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Patrick Leahy requested that the USPTO and the Copyright Office undertake a joint study to address a number of IP legal issues around NFTs. If accepted, the senators requested the agencies to complete study by July 2023. For more information click here.
  • On July 8, the U.S. Department of the Treasury published a request for comment (RFC), seeking input on U.S. digital assets development. The Biden administration published the RFC in its March 9 executive order “Ensuring Responsible Development of Digital Assets,” which requires numerous federal agencies to submit reports and evaluations on digital assets regulation and administration. For more information, click here.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) agreed to a March 31, 2023 deadline to issue a final rule under Section 1071 of Dodd-Frank. Section 1071 amended the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to impose significant data collection requirements on small business creditors. The CFPB accepted the deadline as part of a previously agreed litigation settlement on alleged delays in the rulemaking process. For more information, click here.

State Activities:

  • On July 8, Connecticut Attorney General William Tong issued a press release, seeking a formal hearing to explore health insurance rate hike requests. According to the statement, there were “13 rate filings from nine health insurers seeking average rate hikes of 20.4 percent for the individual market and 14.8 percent for small groups.” Attorney General Tong stated, “Healthcare costs and insurance premiums are already unaffordable for many Connecticut families, businesses and individuals, and these double-digit rate hikes demand rigorous scrutiny. The Department of Insurance has previously agreed to hold public rate hearings on any rate increase exceeding 10 percent, and that transparency is certainly needed now.” For more information, click here.
  • On July 5, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr recognized Military Consumer Protection Month and shared information to help active-duty servicemembers, veterans, and their families avoid scams and predatory business practices. The Georgia Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Division offers the Georgia Military Consumer Protection Guide to help active and former servicemembers better understand their rights as consumers and how to protect themselves from common scams. “Our servicemen and women dedicate their lives to defending our nation, and they deserve our commitment to helping them secure their personal and financial information,” said Carr. For more information, click here.
  • On June 20, the Louisiana Office for Financial Institutions (OFI) proposed a rule on licensure, registration, and regulation of persons engaging in, or planning to engage in, virtual currency business activity in Louisiana. The rule follows the mandate set by Louisiana’s Virtual Currency Business Act (VCBA), effective August 1, 2020, requiring virtual currency businesses to hold a license in Louisiana and granting administrative and enforcement authority to OFI. Specifically, the rule details requirements on the registration, maintenance, and regulation of licenses of virtual currency businesses operating in Louisiana, including the application for a license, approval of control person and change of control, renewal of a license or notice of registration, determination of net worth, examination, recordkeeping, and other policies and procedures that must be adopted by virtual currency businesses. For more information, click here.

Privacy and Cybersecurity Activities:

  • On July 11, the FTC committed to fully enforcing the law against illegal use and sharing of highly sensitive data. The FTC referenced the FTC Act Section 5, which prohibits unfair and deceptive trade practices; the Safeguards Rule; the Health Breach Notification Rule; and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Rule. The blog post stated that “[t]he Commission is committed to using the full scope of its legal authorities to protect consumers’ privacy. We will vigorously enforce the law if we uncover illegal conduct that exploits Americans’ location, health, or other sensitive data. The FTC’s past enforcement actions provide a roadmap for firms seeking to comply with the law.” To read the full blog post, click here.
  • On July 13, U.S. Representative Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) urged FTC Chair Lina Khan to address abusive and deceptive data practices by hundreds of companies providing virtual privacy network (VPN) services for individuals. The letter states: “The consumer VPN industry is extremely opaque, and many VPN providers exploit, mislead, and take advantage of unwitting consumers.” The letter arrives as “people seeking abortion are increasingly told that installing a VPN is an important step for protecting themselves when seeking information on abortion in states that have outlawed and criminalized abortion. This advice has also been applied to general privacy-related concerns and has brought VPNs into the mainstream among American internet users and resulted in a significant market boom.” To view the full letter, click here.