San Mateo Co. (California) Board of Supervisors Unanimously Adopts Financial Information Privacy Ordinance


Redwood City - The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted an ordinance today to protect consumers' financial information privacy. With this ordinance, San Mateo County has become the first jurisdiction in California to provide consumers privacy protections in excess of those found in federal law, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. This ordinance would require financial institutions to ask for and receive consumerís permission before disclosing consumerís confidential information to third parties.

North Dakota Votes for "Opt-In" Financial Privacy


On June 11, 2002, voters in North Dakota spoke overwhelmingly in favor of financial privacy. A referendum which would prohibit banks from sharing, selling or otherwise disclosing personal financial information succeeded by a majority of three to one. This confirms what polls have been telling us for years. Consumers feel strongly about privacy, particularly when it comes to the sensitive information in bank records.

Identity Theft Precautions for California State Employees


The Teale Data Center for the State of California has reported a security breach in the data base that holds payroll deduction information for all state government employees. According to news reports, officials for the Data Center are quite certain that data was not removed, although they are not entirely certain. One of the data elements in the data base is employee Social Security number (SSN). The incident apparently occurred in April 2002.

New Privacy Study Challenges Industry Assertions on the Cost of Protecting Consumers' Privacy (Gellman)


Robert Gellman has released a paper on the costs of NOT protecting privacy. The March 26, 2002, white paper is titled "Privacy, Consumers, and Costs: How The Lack of Privacy Costs Consumers and Why Business Studies of Privacy Costs Are Biased and Incomplete."

Privacy is an elusive, value-laden concept, and it is hard to reach consensus on a definition. In recent, self-serving studies, the business community seized upon this lack of clarity to distort debates about the true costs of privacy - costs to individuals, society and to the business community itself. These studies have led to a mainly one-sided public discussion of privacy, overstating the costs to businesses, ignoring the costs consumers incur to protect their privacy, and understating the benefits that privacy offers to commerce and to society.

Electronic Frontier Foundation Honors Pioneer Award Winners: San Francisco Ceremony for Gillmor, Givens, DeCSS Writers


The online civil liberties group chose to honor Dan Gillmor for his commitment to accurate and cutting edge reporting on cybertech issues; Beth Givens for her dedicated work in fighting for consumers' privacy rights and in raising public awareness on privacy issues; and the DeCSS Writers, to be accepted by Jon Johansen, for their pioneering work on the pivotal program that enabled the development of a DVD player that runs on the Linux operating system.

California Consumers: On Hold for New Telemarketing "Do Not Call" List


Few things annoy consumers more than intrusive telemarketing calls ­- which always come at the wrong time. Thanks to a new law, consumers can sign up to be on a statewide "do not call" list.

Many Californians have read about the new law and are anxious to be on the list. However, the sign-up does not start until January of 2003. Then, for just $1.00, consumers can be included on the list for three years.

Potential Identity Theft Scam Related to Terrorist Attacks


The media, law enforcement officials, and consumer organizations have been alerting the public of potential harmful scams, including charity scams, as a result of the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The Identity Theft Resource Center and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse also urge media outlets and consumer organizations to alert the public of two potential identity theft-related situations that might arise from the recent World Trade Towers disasters.

For Egghead.com customers, from the President and CEO of Egghead -- Deadline Sept. 21, 2001


Dear Valued Egghead.com Customer,

As you know from my previous letter, Egghead.com has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and is in the process of selling its ongoing business.  As part of the sale process, Egghead.com has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with Fry's Electronics but other companies will be given the opportunity to outbid Fry's.  As a result, another company might be approved by the court as the actual buyer.  We plan to complete the sale soon and in no event later than September 30, 2001.

Confusing E-Mail about Opt-Out Number Sends the Wrong Message


An unknown individual has broadcast an electronic mail message that has reached tens of thousands of consumers, confusing them with information that is only half correct.

The message explains, erroneously, that as of July 1, 2003, "the four major credit bureaus in the US will be allowed . to release your credit info, mailing addresses, phone numbers..... to anyone who requests it." This is not correct.

July 1st Privacy Notice Deadline is For Banks, Not Customers


Financial institutions have until July 1, 2001, to send privacy notices to their customers. The notices are required by the Financial Services Modernization Act, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act or GLB.

"Consumers have a continuing right to opt-out," said Tena Friery, Research Director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse. "This applies even if notices have been lost or, as is quite common, mistaken for "junk mail" and thrown in the trash."

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