The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has revamped its reporting system for whistleblowers and is calling on tech workers, particularly those in fintech, to use it.
"We want those in the consumer financial products and services and fintech realms who see potential misconduct to report it to us," Erie Meyer, a tech adviser to CFPB director Rohit Chopra, wrote in a post Wednesday. "Whistleblowers can affect history, drive change, and defend individuals and families against corporate wrongdoing."
According to the post, the bureau is particularly interested in hearing reports regarding biased decision-making algorithms being used by fintech companies. Meyer pointed specifically to a recent report showing that algorithmic mortgage underwriting services have led to more Black and Hispanic people being denied mortgages than their white counterparts. "These technologies can help intentional and unintentional discrimination burrow into our decision-making systems, and whistleblowers can help ensure that these technologies are applied in law-abiding ways," Meyer wrote.
The bureau conducted usability testing with tech workers when it was redesigning the reporting platform, and is now including more information on what happens after a tip is submitted as well as what kind of information the bureau is looking for.
"Too many tech workers are asked to code and build products that violate consumer protection and fair competition laws," Chopra wrote in a tweet announcing the redesigned site. "From dark patterns to discriminatory algorithms, we are urging the tech worker community to blow the whistle on wrongdoing."