Capitol Confidential 
May 1, 2010
It’s amazing to watch the civil libertarians hide when Democrats propose the most sweeping intrusions of privacy in generations. In addition to the litany of bad policies contained in the Dodd Financial Reform bill is this nugget on pages 1039-1040. In short, it extends government reach to every deposit account of every citizen.
Subtitle G of the Dodd discussion draft bill requires that records be maintained and reported “for each branch, automated teller machine at which deposits are accepted, and other deposit taking service facility with respect to any financial institution, the financial institution shall maintain a record of the number and dollar amounts of deposit accounts of customers.”
What’s worse, banks will be required to submit these records to the new super regulatory agency called the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (page 1041). The CFPA will be allowed to use this information for any purpose “as permitted by law” under CFPA rules—rules set by CFPA themselves.
So, lets get this straight—the law requires banks to snoop on its customers MOST PERSONAL INFORMATION and submit it to another government agency so it can be used anyway the CFPA see’s fit.
So, if the CFPA Czar see’s fit, information about your deposit account activity could be shared with the IRS, immigration officials, state officials, or any other entity that the Administration and their various Czar’s think beneficial.
But CFPA will impact your life even before they give away your personal data. Remember that part of the excuse for including this authority is to make policy recommendations. So, be careful not to run your credit limit too high above the amount of money you are depositing in the bank or the CFPA will know you can’t pay your bills and make the appropriate “policy recommendations”.
This is exactly why conservatives have fought so hard against things like national ID cards—if the government is authorized to collect and utilize data, there is no way to prevent the government as a whole or certain individuals within the government from using the information against the citizens.
But passage of the CFPA will settle the whole ID card thing once and for all. There will be no need for them because if you have a bank account, you already have a number and the CFPA will have it.
The breadth of sweeping new powers given to the federal government by these three pages is astonishing. Yet we have heard nary a peep about this provision.
After capitulation and surrender, Republicans will have a chance to amend the legislation when it comes to the floor of the Senate and protect the private details of your banking account.
But if they don’t, smile the next time you go to the ATM because Big Brother will be watching.