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Home > Past Releases and Reports > Editor Addresses Interagency Workshop on Financial Privacy Notices

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2001

Contact: Jim Harper

(202) 546-3701 Editor Addresses Interagency Workshop on Financial Privacy Notices

Comments Illustrate How Muddled Privacy Debate Has Frustrated Notice to Consumers About Financial Privacy

Washington, D.C. Jim Harper, Editor of Privacy Web site, commented today at a federal interagency public workshop entitled "Get Noticed: Effective Financial Privacy Notices." His prepared remarks, annotated with handy hyperlinks, may be found at Excerpts of Harper's remarks follow:

The number one problem with the privacy issue is that the word "privacy" is used to describe so many different concerns with the modern world.

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley notice requirements mostly have to do with a version of privacy called "freedom from marketing." But it's not complete freedom from marketing. It's freedom from accurate marketing.

People are obviously thinking about standardizing privacy policies, and looking to nutrition labels as a sort of guide. If privacy under Gramm-Leach-Bliley is going the direction of healthy eating, I think we ought to opt out.

Gramm-Leach-Bliley moved us away from the system that today is pitting companies in other industries against each other to deliver privacy on the terms consumers want it. Financial services companies are obviously spending their resources on compliance rather than competition, and consumers are worse off for it. ( is an innovative Web site that captures "privacy" as a public policy issue. Privacilla has been described as a "privacy policy portal" and an "online think-tank."


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