We take protecting your personal digital privacy seriously. This page describes consumerfinance.gov policies and procedures on the collection, use, and disclosure of your information.
What information is collected?
Like many websites, we use “persistent cookie” technology. Persistent cookies are small text files that this website places within your browser so that it can remember you when you show up again later—like cookie crumbs. These cookies may collect non-identifying information, such as the type of browser and browser version you are using to access our website, the day and time you access our website, the referring website that linked you directly to our website (if you arrived here by clicking a link on another website), and limited geographic information. None of these cookies store any of your personal information.
We also use a tool called Google Analytics to see how visitors are using consumerfinance.gov. Google Analytics uses persistent cookies for the collection of web metrics, and to track visitor interactions; however, traffic statistics for this website are only reported to us anonymously and in the aggregate. We may in turn share these traffic statistics with other government agencies.
Most Internet browsers automatically accept persistent cookies. Although persistent cookies help us create a better experience for you, most of this website will also work without them. If you don’t want to accept cookies, you can change your browser’s options to not accept them or to prompt you before accepting them. Here’s how to disable cookies.
Some parts of our website let you voluntarily provide personal information, such as your name or e-mail address. For example, you can provide us with your contact information to sign up for e-mail alerts or to post comments to our blog. We do not collect this information when you visit our website unless you choose to provide it to us. When you provide it to us, we only use it for the purposes of communicating with you, furthering our consumer protection activities, and providing information you request.
The CFPB does not send emails that ask you directly to respond to a complaint against your company, or to submit your own personal information. Unless otherwise noted, contact information collected through this website is governed under the Privacy Act Statement.
The CFPB is committed to the protection of children’s online privacy under the Children’s’ Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). If a visitor to our website tells us that he or she is under the age of 13, we do not collect any personal information from that person.
For more information about how we manage our blog, please see Our commenting and moderation policy.
Storing and protecting your information
If you choose to provide your personal information, it will be stored and protected appropriately. We will only use the information for the purpose provided, and it will be destroyed after the purpose is fulfilled. You can learn more about how we retain and protect your information in our System of Records Notice and accompanying Privacy Impact Assessment.
CFPB information systems may be protected by EINSTEIN cybersecurity capabilities, under the operational control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). Electronic communications with CFPB may be scanned by government-owned or contractor equipment to look for network traffic indicating known or suspected malicious cyber activity, including malicious content or communications. Electronic communications within CFPB will be collected or retained by US-CERT only if they are associated with known or suspected cyber threats. US-CERT will use the information collected through EINSTEIN to analyze the known or suspected cyber threat and help CFPB and other agencies respond and better protect their computers and networks.
For additional information about EINSTEIN capabilities, please see the EINSTEIN program-related Privacy Impact Assessments available on the DHS cybersecurity privacy website along with other information about the federal government’s cybersecurity activities.
What information is shared?
Sometimes, we share personal information that you provide to our website, both within the CFPB and outside of it. We have posted a System of Records Notice that provides details about how we may do this. In particular, this Notice describes what information we share, with whom, and for what purposes.
Within the CFPB
We may use your information to contact you if you identify yourself in an e-mail, comment, or other communication and provide us with your contact information. Bureau employees and contractors may use your information to complete your request, such as signing up for e-mail updates, and maintaining distribution lists. Our contractors may view and use your information when operating consumerfinance.gov, or systems that collect data through the website, on our behalf.
With other government agencies
We work with other government agencies to investigate complaints, coordinate law enforcement investigations, cooperate with oversight investigations, or further consumer protection activities. In some cases, we are required or authorized by law to share personal information with other agencies. When we do so, we ensure appropriate protections are in place.
Outside the federal government
If you provide comments in response to a request – by commenting on our blog, for example – we may make your comments available to the public either in a publication or by posting that information on our website. We may also make public the username or alias associated with your comments.
In addition, we may disclose information in response to court orders, subpoenas, Freedom of Information Act requests, Congressional requests, and as otherwise required by law.
Please note that separate privacy policies apply when you submit comments to the CFPB’s blog and file complaints with the CFPB. You should refer to these policies as they may differ from those described above.
External links and social media
This website includes links to other websites. When you click a link to an outside website, the privacy and security policies of that website apply. Non-federal websites do not necessarily operate under the same laws, regulations, and policies as federal websites.
Regardless of content that we link to from consumerfinance.gov or our social media accounts, we do not endorse any commercial product, service, process, or enterprise. We link to other websites and refer to commercial products or enterprises solely for your convenience and education. We cannot assume any responsibility for the content or operation of other websites.
More information about the Bureau’s use of social media can be found in our Social Media PIA .
Monitoring and protecting consumerfinance.gov
We monitor use of consumerfinance.gov to keep the website secure and available to all users. We employ software that monitors network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage to the website. Part of this process involves collecting non-identifying information about you, such as your internet protocol address, the day and time you access our website, and the address that linked you directly to our website (if you arrived here by clicking a link on another website). By using consumerfinance.gov you expressly consent to such monitoring. If our monitoring reveals evidence of possible abuse or criminal activity, we may provide such evidence to appropriate law enforcement officials. Unauthorized attempts to upload information and/or change information on this website are strictly prohibited and may be punishable by law, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and 18 U.S.C §§ 1001, 1030 .
Copyright and trademark
Website content: Information created by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is in the public domain and you may reproduce, publish, or otherwise use it without the Bureau’s permission. Please consider appropriate citation to the Bureau as the source. Copyrighted materials created by entities outside of the Bureau also may appear on this website, or may be reached through a link on this website. Copyright and other intellectual property laws may apply to your use of those materials.
Bureau trademarks: The Bureau’s logo, as well as the name Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are registered trademarks. Your use of them must comply with intellectual property laws.
The government assumes no legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process described or depicted on this website. Finally, the government does not represent that the use of any such information, apparatus, product, or process would not infringe privately owned rights.
Revised December 2016