Assess Bank Privacy Law Before Amending, Senator Says

WASHINGTON — Lawmakers need more time to assess the impact of financial services privacy legislation before any new laws are considered, Sen. Tom Carper told marketers this week.

Carper, D-DE, who serves on Senate committees overseeing financial services, spoke at the Direct Marketing Association and Internet Alliance's 2001 Government Affairs Conference here. He focused on the need to balance consumer privacy protection with promoting the growth of the financial services industry.

Carper echoed the sentiments of the DMA, the IA and their 5,000-plus members, stating that more time is needed to assess the impact of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley financial services privacy legislation — which was enacted last year — before additional legislation is considered.

Carper has requested hearings to determine how well the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation is working. The act requires financial institutions to disclose their privacy policies to customers and in some circumstances restricts banks from sharing customers' nonpublic, personal information.

“The law needs time to work before considering making changes, as some have suggested,” said H. Robert Wientzen, president/CEO of the DMA.

“We have been requiring our members to follow the principles incorporated in Gramm-Leach-Bliley since July of 1999 — long before its passage,” he added.

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