ABA, State Associations Call for Preservation of GLBA Exemption in New Privacy Law

The American Bankers Association and 51 state bankers associations yesterday wrote to the Uniform Law Commission Committee—which has been tasked with drafting a uniform law on consumer privacy—urging it to retain in the draft the current exemption for information subject to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The letter was sent ahead of a meeting that took place today to discuss the draft law.

The associations responded to arguments made in a comment letter by another advocacy group, which argued that GLBA fails to offer adequate consumer protections and urged the committee to exclude the compromise exemption. In rebutting the arguments, ABA and the state bankers associations noted that banking is the only industry that is regularly examined by federal regulators on compliance with federal privacy laws, which provides significant consumer protections.

“The GLBA not only mandates disclosure of privacy practices and information sharing restrictions, but it further requires financial institutions to establish an information security program that protects customer information,” the associations wrote. “Each program must be designed to ensure the security and confidentiality of customer information, protect against any foreseeable risks, protect against its unauthorized access or use, and ensure its proper disposal.” They also emphasized that banks regularly undergo full-scope, on-site examinations by the federal banking agencies to ensure compliance.