On October 27, 2011, Senator John D. Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, sent letters to Visa and Mastercard requesting information regarding the companies’ data collection and aggregation practices and proposals.  An October 25, 2011, Wall Street Journal article outlined various initiatives from the two companies pertaining to online behavioral advertising. 

Senator Rockefeller’s letters pose questions about the companies’ current data collection practices, anonymization of data sold to third-parties, plans to combine purchasing data with data from other sources, and compliance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.  The letters require responses by November 30, 2011. 

Online behavioral advertising proposals that rely on financial data remain a hot topic to be closely monitored.  Such proposals potentially implicate the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act among other statutes and regulations.