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News Now

Washington
NEW: Brown, Moran Introduce Privacy Notice Bill In Senate
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 3/21/13, 12:30 p.m. ET)--Legislation to end the redundancy of privacy notices was just introduced in the Senate. The bill (S. 635) diverges slightly from the language of a similar bill passed recently in the House. For instance, the Senate bill would require credit unions and other financial institutions to make their privacy policy always accessible in some form in order to qualify for the bill's exemption from sending annual privacy notices.

Both the House and Senate bills would eliminate a requirement that privacy notices be sent on an annual basis. They would instead allow the notices to be sent only when the privacy policy of a financial institution has changed.

"Credit unions make every effort to provide the most effective and efficient services to their members, which includes ensuring their members are aware of their privacy rights. This legislation safeguards member awareness of those rights, but eliminates repetitive notices that are often ignored by consumers," Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney said. He noted that the bill "streamlines the regulatory burden on credit unions by reducing the amount of diverted time and resources that a credit union's staff could be using for more important services to its members.

"Above all, the bill enhances consumer protection by ensuring that when a consumer receives a privacy notification, it has significance and is not redundant," Cheney said.

The House version of privacy notice reform (H.R. 749) recently passed by voice vote and with broad bipartisan co-sponsorship.

The Senate bill was introduced by Senate Banking subcommittee on financial institutions Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and committee member Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

Immediately upon introduction of the Senate bill, CUNA and other financial trade groups sent a joint letter to urge a Senate vote on the bipartisan legislation "without further delay and amendment."


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