Financial Privacy:

Too Soon to Assess the Privacy Provisions in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999

GAO-01-617: Published: May 3, 2001. Publicly Released: May 3, 2001.

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This report provides information on (1) the efficacy and adequacy of remedies provided by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 in addressing attempts to obtain financial information by false pretenses and (2) suggestions for additional legislation or regulatory action to address threats to the privacy of financial information, from financial institutions. As of March 2001, federal regulatory and enforcement agencies had not taken any enforcement actions or prosecuted any cases under Subtitle B. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice are still in the process of taking steps to ensure that the financial institutions that they regulate have reasonable controls to protect against fraudulent access to financial information. Although all of the federal regulators and privacy experts whom GAO contacted agreed that more time and experience are needed to determine if Subtitle B remedies adequately address fraudulent access to financial information, FTC staff and privacy experts suggested legislative changes to Subtitle B. GAO did not evaluate the potential impact or practicality of these suggestions because it found no consensus on these ideas.

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