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Senate Privacy Notice Bill Is Taking Form
WASHINGTON (3/19/13)--A Senate version of legislation that would make significant improvements in privacy notices for consumers could be introduced in the near future, perhaps as early as this week, Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan noted on Monday.

The bill is expected to be substantially similar to the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act (H.R. 749), which passed the U.S. House by voice vote last week. H.R. 749 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. A similar bill passed the House in late 2012, but the Senate did not vote on the bill before the last session of Congress ended.

CUNA has consistently supported these privacy notification changes, and CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney last week said the bill "will make privacy notifications more meaningful by removing a costly and duplicative paperwork requirement that has been no real help to consumers.

"More people are apt to pay attention to privacy notices that are made when their financial institution's policies change rather than when these notices are issued annually as a matter of routine," Cheney noted.

CUNA is also monitoring several hearings in the U.S. House and Senate this week, including the following hearings scheduled for Tuesday:
  • A House Judiciary crime, terrorism, homeland security and investigations subcommittee hearing on the Electronic Communications Privacy Act;
  • A House Ways and Means Committee hearing entitled "Tax Reform and Tax Provisions Affecting State and Local Governments.";
  • A House Financial Services Committee hearing on how government-sponsored enterprise conservatorships are being handled.
  • A Senate Banking Committee vote on the nomination of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray;
  • A Senate Banking Committee housing reforms hearing; and
  • A Senate Banking securities subcommittee hearing on insurance regulations.
On Wednesday, the House Financial Services financial institutions and consumer credit subcommittee will discuss community banking regulations. The House Ways and Means select revenue measures subcommittee will also address financial products tax reforms on that day.

The House and Senate are expected to begin a two-week district work period at the end of the week.

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