Maine's Proposed Financial Privacy Bill Protects Corporations, Not Consumers, ACLU Says
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PORTLAND, ME -In testimony today before the state legislature, Sally Sutton, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine urged lawmakers to reject a proposed bill that will put Maine’s financial services privacy laws on a par with the federal government’s less restrictive legislation.
“In rushing to pass this bill to conform with federal law,” said Sutton, “Maine ignores the provision in federal law which allows for states to pass greater privacy protections to safeguard the personal financial information of its citizens. The federal law should be used only as a floor, the bare minimum. Maine should go beyond this minimum in protecting its citizens.”
In her testimony, Sutton points out that even with the privacy protections in the federal law, known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, customer data that might originally have been available to their respective banks would be made available to much larger conglomerates and their many subsidiaries. A depositor who provides private information to a bank, she said, may now be at the mercy of insurance agents, stock brokers, or even health care representatives who happen to work for the same firm.
Sutton also pointed out that the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act provides few safeguards to prevent intrusive behavior, nor does the law require banks to implement stronger data security measures.
Instead, Sutton said, lawmakers should adopt an alternative bill proposed by the Maine Civil Liberties Union. Key provisions of the model bill include:
· restriction on transfer of personal information
· customer access to their files
· limits on the re-use of information
· public disclosure of privacy policies
· state enforcement against offenders
· the ability of individuals to bring legal action against a financial institution for improper disclosure of personal information.
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in National Security
ACLU Acknowledges Improvements to DOJ Racial Profiling Policy, But Says Far More is Needed
ACLU Applauds Court For Allowing Case Challenging FBI’s Wrongful Prosecution of Chinese American Physics Professor To Move Forward
Shen v. Simpson
Chinese Immigrants Sue Florida Over Unconstitutional and Discriminatory Law Banning Them From Buying Land
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About National Security
The ACLU’s National Security Project is dedicated to ensuring that U.S. national security policies and practices are consistent with the Constitution, civil liberties, and human rights.