WSJ: DFS superintendent wants to protect consumers

11225394_892546234160850_1173950327599401243_nLinda Lacewell, superintendent of the state Department of Financial Services, said her main focus will be ensuring data privacy and consumer protection as she leads the department, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal.

Lacewell said in an interview with the paper that as the federal government makes changes to the CFPB, her department would step up to police everything from financial marketing to online lending.

“Where CFPB steps down, DFS has to step up,” Lacewell told the paper.

Earlier this year, Lacewell combined her agency’s enforcement and consumer bureaus and hired Kate Lemire, a former federal prosecutor, to oversee both, the Wall Street Journal explained. She also created a new cybersecurity division in the agency to oversee compliance with state regulations that require financial firms to protect consumer data and notify the state if a breach were to occur.

As an example of her focus on digital enforcement, the Wall Street Journal highlighted Lacewell’s recently announced investigation into whether financial companies targeted their Facebook advertisements in ways that violated laws against race, age and gender discrimination.

“I feel that Superintendent Lacewell really gets that a financial regulator in the 21st century really has to focus on what works for consumers and their broader communities,” Chuck Bell, programs director at Consumer Reports, told the Journal.

As previously reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated Lacewell to serve as superintendent of the DFS this past January. She was formally confirmed to her post by the state Senate on June 20.

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