’60 Minutes’ Back at Fall Show for Privacy Redux

SAN FRANCISCO — A camera crew likely will be part of the action on the exhibit floor at the Direct Marketing Association's 85th Annual Conference & Exhibition today as “60 Minutes” returns to the show after conducting interviews at the 1999 conference in Toronto.

Once again, the issue is privacy. The location is appropriate since this year's focus is a California financial privacy bill introduced by California state Sen. Jackie Speier. The bill would mandate opt-in consent for the sharing of financial data. Though it was defeated in the state Assembly in September, Speier vowed to reintroduce it next year.

California is known for state privacy laws that go beyond federal laws. This bill is a reaction to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999, which took effect July 1, 2001. Under GLB, financial institutions must provide clear disclosure of their privacy policies regarding the sharing of nonpublic personal information with affiliates and third parties, and give notice to consumers and an opportunity to opt out of sharing nonpublic personal information with nonaffiliated third parties. The privacy notices must be sent annually.

The buzz on the show floor was that “60 Minutes” would speak to providers of financial data such as Equifax, though an Equifax official could not be reached for comment.

The DMA will escort “60 Minutes” producers and a camera crew around the exhibit hall today, DMA spokesman Louis Mastria said.

“They told me that all they’re shooting is ‘B’ footage,” he said.

Correspondent Leslie Stahl narrated the 1999 piece, which focused on the direct marketing industry’s activities online.

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