Consumer Reports published an article titled "The battle for
privacy begins" in their June, 2003 issue. Wonder where they
have been <VBG>...
In part, the article, on page 6, reads, "The Gramm-Leach-Bliley
Act is largely responsible for making your financial life an
open book. Passed by Congress in 1999, it allows banks,
insurance companies, and brokerage houses to sell one another's
products and services. The business affiliations that the law
enabled also allow those institutions to share sensitive
consumer financial information. As a result, data previously
held by a single company are readily available to its affiliates
as well as to third parties who enter joint marketing
The article goes on to tell us what we can do, i.e., "...read
your financial-privacy statements from insurers, stockbrokers,
and banks, and decide whether you want to exercise your rights
under federal law to limit the sharing of your information"
[I, like most, do not read these agreements unfortunately.]
I guess I was asleep in 1999. I did not write to my Senator
or anyone else for that matter, protesting this legislation.
Information that can be shared may include "...bank-account
balances, loan-payment history, and credit-card charges, which
could itemize your liquor and pharmacy bills."
Their web site is (www.consumerreports.org) but I have not
checked to see if this issue is available on line.