The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a proposal to amend the annual privacy policies disclosure mailing requirement to allow posting of the annual notices on the financial institution’s website under certain limited circumstances.
A copy of the proposed rule is available at: Proposed Reg P Amendment
Specifically, the CFPB states that its proposal would allow financial institutions to post the annual notices on their websites if:
(1) The financial institution does not share the customer’s nonpublic personal information with nonaffiliated third parties in a manner that triggers GLBA opt-out rights;
(2) The financial institution does not include on its annual privacy notice an opt-out notice under 15 USC § 1681a(d)(2)(A)(iii), which relates to the “affiliate sharing” exclusion from the definition of “consumer report”;
(3) The financial institution’s annual privacy notice is not the only notice provided to satisfy the requirements of 15 U.S.C. § 1681s-3, which also relates to affiliate sharing;
(4) The information included in the privacy notice has not changed since the customer received the previous notice. The financial institution would still have to mail its privacy notices annually if, among other things, the institution has changed its privacy practices or engages in information-sharing activities for which customers have a right to opt out.
(5) The financial institution must use the model form provided in the GLBA’s implementing Regulation P. This form is available here.
(6) The financial institution would have to insert a clear and conspicuous statement at least once per year on a notice or disclosure the institution issues under any other provision of law announcing that:
A. The annual privacy notice is available on the financial institution’s website;
B. The annual privacy notice must be mailed to customers who request it by calling a toll-free telephone number; and
C. The annual privacy notices has not changed.
(7) Financial institutions would have to mail annual notices promptly to customers who request them by phone.
(8) The financial institution must continuously post the annual privacy notice in a clear and conspicuous manner on a page of its website, without requiring a login or similar steps to access the notice.
The CFPB is soliciting comments on the proposed rule for 30 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which is expected imminently.
Ralph T. Wutscher
McGinnis Wutscher Beiramee LLP
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