The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been alerted to potential misbehavior at SunTrust Banks.
The Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program referred SunTrust to the federal watchdog after the bank rebuffed an inquiry over online ad practices. The self-regulatory group, which is run by the Council of Better Business Bureaus, suspects the Atlanta-based bank of gathering consumers' Web browsing activity in order to target them for interest-based ads. The organization, which wants companies to follow a set of self-regulatory principles for online advertising, believes SunTrust is providing consumers neither real-time disclosure of the data collection nor a way to opt out.
In 32 previous cases dating back to 2011, the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program reports 100 percent compliance with its recommendations. SunTrust is the first company that it has had to refer to authorities.