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Democratic lawmakers urge probe into Envestnet/Yodlee's data dissemination

Three Democratic lawmakers have urged the Federal Trade Commission to launch a probe into the legality of Envestnet Inc.'s selling of consumers' financial transaction data it collects through Yodlee Inc.

In a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons, Sens. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., said their requested inquiry is meant to find out if the company's sale of consumer information violates the FTC Act.

According to the letter, the company's database includes debit and credit card transactions from tens of millions of consumers, which Envestnet sells to data brokers, who then sell it to hedge funds and other investors that trade based on market trends they observe.

The trio also urged the FTC to investigate whether Envestnet and the companies it sells the data to have the required technical controls in place to protect sensitive financial data.