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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed to implement recent Congressional legislation that allows financial institutions that meet certain requirements to be exempt from sending annual privacy notices to their customers. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) generally requires that financial institutions send annual privacy notices to customers. These notices must describe whether and how the financial institution shares customers’ non-public personal information. If the institution shares this information with unaffiliated third parties in ways other than specified by the statute, the institution typically must notify customers of their right to opt out of sharing and inform them of how to do so.
In December 2015, Congress amended the GLBA as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act). This amendment provides financial institutions that meet certain conditions an exemption to the requirement under the GLBA to deliver an annual privacy notice. A financial institution can use the annual notice exception if it limits its sharing of customer information so that the customer does not have the right to opt out and has not changed its privacy notice from the one previously delivered to its customer. Today’s proposed amendment would implement this legislation. The proposal would also establish deadlines for institutions resuming annual privacy notices if their practices change and cease to qualify for the exemption.
In 2014, the CFPB amended the federal regulation that implements the GLBA to establish an alternative delivery method for annual privacy notices. This enabled companies that limit sharing of their customers’ information and meet other requirements to post annual privacy notices online rather than delivering them to customers individually. Under today’s proposal, any financial institution that meets the criteria for this alternative delivery method would also meet the requirements for the new annual notice exception. In light of this, the Bureau is proposing today to also remove the alternative delivery method.