Published: December 2017

Consumers must retain choice to opt-out of banks’ marketing schemes

Federal law currently requires big banks to alert consumers annually of their right to opt-out of the sharing of their personal information with third parties. Consumer groups are trying to stop a bill that would remove these protections and expose consumers to rampant unwanted marketing, stolen personal data and more.

Consumer, community, privacy and civil rights groups wrote the U.S. House in opposition to a bill (HR 2396) that would minimize, if not remove, currently required annual disclosures by banks that inform consumers they have the right to prevent the sharing of their non-public personal information with “nonaffiliated third parties that aren’t selling financial products” (i.e. marketers). The letter cautioned that if HR 2396 were to become law, most consumers would only learn of their right to stop the sharing of their personal information when they initially set up a new account with a financial institution, but likely never again afterward. This would almost certainly lead to consumer harm, including: unwanted marketing, price discrimination and higher risks of identity theft.

Lead Organization

U.S. PIRG

Other Organizations

Americans for Financial Reform | Allied Progress | Center for Digital Democracy | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Consumer Watchdog | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | Privacy Times | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Public Citizen | Public Knowledge | Reinvestment Partners | U.S. PIRG

More Information

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Consumers must retain choice to opt-out of banks’ marketing schemes   (HR2396BanksMarketingLetter.pdf)

 

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