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."

Financial Privacy Notices: Do They Really Want You to Know What They're Saying?


"Because we value your privacy.. we may sell your personal financial information." Does this make sense? Of course, not. But, that is precisely the message many banks and other financial companies are now sending to their customers. However, this message -- blurred by fine print, big words, long sentences and marketing jargon -- is far from clear.

New Privacy Rights May Be Buried in "Junk" Mail


Now is not the time to toss junk mail and ignore inserts in your bank and credit card statements. "Watch your mail!" says Tena Friery, research director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.

Because of a new federal law, financial institutions are now mailing notices to consumers containing important information about their privacy rights. "Failure to pay attention to these privacy notices may result in sensitive financial data being sold to other companies for marketing and other purposes," warns Friery.

Nowhere to Turn: Victims Speak Out on Identity Theft - A Survey of Identity Theft Victims and Recommendations for Reform


Identity theft is a growing crisis in the United States. As the crime becomes more visible, stories of victims' complex experiences permeate the media. Identity theft occurs when someone invades your life, taking pieces of your personal identifying information as his or her own, and ruins your financial reputation. In addition, victims of this crime face extreme difficulties attempting to clear the damaged credit, or even criminal record, caused by the thief.

Free Credit Reports to End


The only credit reporting bureau to offer free credit reports to consumers will halt this practice March 1, 1997.

Experian, formerly known as TRW, has been providing free credit reports since 1992. It had expected the other two major credit bureaus, Equifax and Trans Union, to follow suit, but that has not happened. Further, consumer advocates had pushed Congress to mandate free credit reports when it was considering amendments to the Fair Credit Reporting Act in 1996. But instead, legislators capped the price at $8 per report.

Calling All Direct Marketers to Heed the "Fair Information Practices"


In our nearly five years of experience in operating the hotline for California consumers, no other topic has garnered the response that unwanted mail does -- not even media reports on medical records or workplace privacy, where the consequences of privacy abuse are likely to be far more serious. In 1994, unwanted mail was the number one topic of complaint on the hotline, accounting for nearly one-third of calls.

What's going on here?

Our analysis of the "junk mail phenomenom" focuses on control. Every day, consumers are reminded that they have virtually no control over what enters their mail box.

Nonprofit Organizations and Privacy: Responsible Mailing List Management


We got a call from a woman who had written over 2,000 letters in the past couple years, asking to be taken off various and sundry mailing lists. She kept detailed records of all her correspondence and its effect. The one entity that was the most troublesome to her was a nonprofit organization -- she wrote it 18 times to no avail. It was the Republican National Committee

California Security Breach Notification Law Goes into Effect July 1, 2003


Beginning on July 1, state government agencies as well as companies and nonprofit organizations regardless of geographic location must notify California customers if personal information maintained in computerized data files have been compromised by unauthorized access.

Welcome to Our New Website!


Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is pleased to welcome you to our re-designed website.  Our new site incorporates user-oriented features that make it easier for visitors to quickly find and share information.  We’ve also updated our widely popular privacy compilations, including our Online Information Brokers List and our nationally-recognized Chronology of Data Breaches

Using the open source software Drupal, our new site allows PRC's privacy advocates to update the site more frequently - without compromising the privacy of our visitors.

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