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News Now

Washington
Cheney: Privacy Bill Passage Would Eliminate Needless Burden On CUs
WASHINGTON (3/11/13)--H.R. 749, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, is scheduled for a full U.S. House Tuesday. The House on Friday announced that the item is on its suspension calendar for that day.

The Credit Union National Association supports the bill, which would eliminate repetitive privacy notices by eliminating a requirement that the notices be sent annually. Under the terms of the bill, privacy notices would only to be sent when the privacy policy of a financial institution has changed. Citing statistics that showed more consumers would read privacy notices if they were sent only when account terms changed, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney called on Congress to eliminate repetitive, annual privacy notices by passing H.R.749.

Reps. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) and Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) introduced the bill earlier this year, and the bill has 48 co-sponsors. The bill is identical to legislation that unanimously passed the House before the 112th Congress adjourned. The Senate, however, did not act on the bill in time.

Under current rules, credit unions alone have sent an estimated one billion annual privacy notifications to members since 2001, CUNA estimates. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney in a letter to lawmakers noted a survey that shows fewer than one-quarter of consumers read the privacy notifications they receive, and over three-quarters of consumers would be more likely to read them if they were only sent when the financial institution changed its policy.

"This suggests that the public policy goal of privacy notifications would be better achieved if the notices had more meaning to consumers." H.R. 749 achieves this end, Cheney wrote.


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