News Release 2002-8 | February 6, 2002

Agencies Publish "Privacy Choices for Your Personal Financial Information"

Joint Release

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Commodity Futures Trading Commission Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Federal Trade Commission National Credit Union Administration Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Office of Thrift Supervision Securities and Exchange Commission

In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, several federal agencies today released a guide to help consumers make informed choices about whether to allow their personal financial information to be shared. Privacy Choices for Your Personal Financial Information guides consumers through the choices they face as a result of the privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. The theme for National Consumer Protection Week this year is "Consumer Confidential: The Privacy Story."

Federal privacy laws give consumers the right to prevent, or "opt out" of, some sharing of their personal financial information. These laws balance consumers' right to privacy with financial companies' need to provide information for normal business purposes.

The consumer information explains the privacy notices that consumers receive from their banks and other financial companies, what choices consumers face, and consumers' right to opt out of information sharing.

The materials encourage consumers to:

  • Read all privacy notices;
  • Get answers to questions from the financial companies that provided the notices;
  • If applicable, decide whether to opt out; and
  • If they want to opt out, follow the instructions in the notice – and, if necessary, shop around for a financial institution with the privacy policy they want.

The agencies include the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Trade Commission, National Credit Union Administration, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Office of Thrift Supervision, and Securities and Exchange Commission.

Single printed copies of the brochure are available free of charge upon request from the member agencies. The brochure also can be printed from www.consumer.gov or from the agencies' websites.

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System:
The Board's website at http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/privacy and from Publications, Stop 127, Federal Reserve Board, 20th & C Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20551, 202-452-3245.

Commodity Futures Trading Commission:
CFTC's website at www.cftc.gov/cftc/cftcfinancialprivacy.htm and from the Office of Public Affairs, Three Lafayette Center, 1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581, 202- 418-5080.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation:
FDIC's website at http://www.fdic.gov/publish/coaffpr.html and from the Public Information Center, 801 17th Street, NW, Room 100, Washington, DC 20434, 800-276-6003 or 202-416-6940.

Federal Trade Commission:
FTC's website at http://www.ftc.gov and from the Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580, 877-FTC-HELP (877 382- 4357, toll-free); TDD for the hearing impaired 202-326-2502.

National Credit Union Administration:
NCUA's website at http://www.ncua.gov and from the Publications Center, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703-518-6340.

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:
OCC's website at http://www.occ.treas.gov and from Communications, Mail Stop 3-2, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, 250 E Street, SW, Washington, DC 20219, 202-874-4700.

Office of Thrift Supervision:
The OTS's website at http://www.ots.treas.gov and from Publications, Office of Thrift Supervision, 1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552, 202-906-6410 (OTS Publications Hotline).

Securities and Exchange Commission:
The SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov and from the Office of Investor Education and Assistance, 450 5th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20549-0213, 202-942-9634 (fax).

Media Contacts

Federal Reserve Susan Stawick (202) 452-2955
CFTC Dennis Holden (202) 418-5088
FDIC David Barr (202) 898-6992
FTC Claudia Bourne Farrell (202) 326-2181
NCUA Cherie Umbel (703) 518-6337
OCC Robert M. Garsson (202) 874-5770
OCC Dean DeBuck (202) 874-5770
OTS Chris Smith (202) 906-6677
SEC John Nester (202) 942-0032

Media Contact

Public Affairs
(202) 649-6870