PRIVACYnotes

Financial Privacy 2004
 

Home | Privacy Links | Opt-Out

   



Archive

PRIVACYnotes #1

PRIVACYnotes #2
PRIVACYnotes #3
PRIVACYnotes #4
PRIVACYnotes #5
PRIVACYnotes #6
PRIVACYnotes #7
PRIVACYnotes #8
PRIVACYnotes #9
PRIVACYnotes #10
PRIVACYnotes #11
PRIVACYnotes #12
PRIVACYnotes #13
PRIVACYnotes #14
PRIVACYnotes #15
PRIVACYnotes #16
PRIVACYnotes #17
PRIVACYnotes #18
PRIVACYnotes #19
PRIVACYnotes #20
PRIVACYnotes #21
PRIVACYnotes #22
PRIVACYnotes #23
PRIVACYnotes #24
PRIVACYnotes #25
PRIVACYnotes #26
PRIVACYnotes #27
PRIVACYnotes #28
PRIVACYnotes #29
PRIVACYnotes #30
PRIVACYnotes #31
PRIVACYnotes #32
PRIVACYnotes #33
PRIVACYnotes #34
PRIVACYnotes #35
PRIVACYnotes #36
PRIVACYnotes #37
PRIVACYnotes #38
PRIVACYnotes #39
PRIVACYnotes #40
PRIVACYnotes #41
HIPAA


Consumer Group Issues Financial Privacy Report Card


Press Release

The Consumer Federation of California Education Foundation today issued a Report Card on the Privacy Practices of 55 major California banks, insurers and financial services companies. Rating the ability of consumers to limit the sale or sharing of confidential information, eight financial corporations received grades in the “A” range, while six received grades of “D” and ten received grades of “F.”

“This is the first report of its kind. It reveals the wide range of privacy practices of major banks, insurers, brokerages and credit card issuers,” said Richard Holober, Executive Director of the CFC Education Foundation. “It is no surprise that the same banks and credit card companies that vehemently opposed privacy legislation are the worst privacy violators.”

Senator Jackie Speier (D Hillsborough), author of California's landmark Financial Privacy law (SB 1) commented, “The good news in this report is that some financial institutions grow and prosper while honoring consumer privacy. They set a standard for others to emulate. The bad news is that most banks, insurance companies and credit card companies shortchange their customers by denying them any real control over the spread of their confidential information. The report makes it clear that the fight to win privacy rights is far from over.” SB 1 was enacted last September and it takes effect in July 2004.

"This report sheds new light on the privacy practices of major financial institutions,” stated Beth Givens, Executive Director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. “Some banks and insurance companies do a good job of respecting their customers' privacy. But far too many businesses fall short. The report underscores the need for stronger privacy laws since individuals have far too little control over their sensitive personal financial information.”

The report examined what steps, if any, banks, insurers, and other financial institutions took beyond the minimal requirements of federal law, to limit the sale and sharing of private consumer financial information.

Highest grades were given to companies that did not sell or share personally identifiable information without prior consent of the consumer (known as “Ask Me First” or “Opt-In”). Companies that sold or shared personal information but allowed consumers the choice to stop sharing (“Opt Out”) received partial credit, and additional points were given for companies that gave consumers more than one method to assert their Opt Out (Toll free phone number, website, etc).

The Report Card is based on the institutions' stated privacy policies. The Consumer Federation of California Education Foundation did not examine any company's compliance with their stated policy.

The report was funded by a grant from the Rose Foundation.

Download Financial Privacy 2004 Report in PDF