The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is catching flak from some corners because of its efforts to gather consumer financial data. While the agency is collecting information for the purpose of shaping policy to help protect the public, some view the campaign as a privacy issue. In defense of the CFPB, the nonprofit Woodstock Institute -- which champions fair lending and financial systems reform -- argued that the data would alert regulators to another mortgage crisis before it could occur and allow them to conclusively ferret out lending bias. "The financial industry is already using every data tool at its disposal to target consumers with offers for payday loans, credit cards, and high-cost student loans," said Woodstock's Spencer Cowan. "In order to monitor a constantly evolving marketplace and base regulations on clear evidence, the CFPB must be empowered to analyze timely, granular data on the interactions between corporations and consumers." He added that, "Preventing the CFPB from using data to drive its decision would ensure that the agency -- and consumers -- are always one step behind the financial industry."