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FDIC Consumer News
Special 10th Anniversary Edition - Fall 2003
Watch for Those Privacy Mailings
Privacy notices from your bank and other financial institutions, first sent in 2001 and required to be provided at least annually, describe the kinds of personal information they collect about their customers or share with other companies. In some cases, the notices explain your rights to "opt out" or say "no" to certain types of information sharing.
While you cannot opt out of all types of information transfers, such as information shared to process your transactions, you may opt out of other types of information sharing, such as if your bank plans to provide your name and other information to a third party that wants to offer a non-financial product.
So, watch for these privacy notices. They may be included with another mailing from your financial institutions, and not as a separate, distinct piece of mail. Also, this isn't junk mail. "The institution may be informing you of a significant change to its information sharing practices that includes a new opportunity to opt out," says Deanna Caldwell, an FDIC senior policy analyst.
If you previously told an institution you want to opt out, you do not have to do so again. However, if you previously opted out but the institution is expanding its information sharing into new areas where you have a right to say no, you would have to opt out again to cover the new practices. If you did not previously opt out, you can do so now or at any other time.
Excerpted from "Privacy Mailings Arriving Again," Summer 2002.
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