The Bank of America has gotten itself into hot water with an investigation launched into the bank’s misconduct after it handed over private data to the FBI. Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, chaired by two Republican Congressmen, Jim Jordan and Thomas Massie, are conducting the investigation into the bank’s data breach. Without a warrant or any legal process, data-mining privacy laws have been broken by handing over the credit and debit card user’s data to the FBI voluntarily.
During the events, which took place in the Washington D.C metropolitan area between January 5 and January 7, 2021, Bank of America felt justified in providing the FBI with a list of individuals who had made transactions in the area. With no guidance from either the government or law enforcement agencies, this data-mining is an invasive breach of trust with potentially serious legal repercussions. The FBI’s whistleblower revealed that individuals who had previously purchased firearms were given priority treatment in this expansive investigation.
The bank did not believe any legal process was required to do so, acting as a vigilante in this situation and violating FBI privacy policies as a result. The scale of this data breach is nothing less than alarming, raising many questions as to the appropriateness of actions taken by the Bank of America.
Bank of America gave a list to the FBI of anyone who used BofA credit/debit cards in the DC area between Jan 5-7th, 2021 – regardless of whether they participated in the events of Jan. 6th. pic.twitter.com/C0zBA1AGmy
— Rep. Dan Bishop (@RepDanBishop) May 18, 2023
The Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust are requesting that the bank provides documents and communication dated from January 1, 2021, to present day to support and explain the scope and reasoning behind their actions.
Unfortunately, this alarming news collection is only a small part of a greater issue. With recent revelations that the FBI conducted almost 300,000 illegal searches without a warrant or proper cause, it is clear that the weaponization of Federal agencies is at an all-time high. We need to trust and respect the privacy of our citizens, and the FBI and other government bodies need to respect the rule of law.