Accompanying the Financial Privacy Rule is the Safeguards Rule. This Rule requires all financial institutions to design, implement, and maintain safeguards to protect consumer information. The Safeguards Rule applies not only to financial institutions that collect information from consumers, but also to financial institutions — such as credit reporting agencies — that receive consumer information from other financial institutions. This Act is a part of the repeal of the Federal restrictions on banks affiliating with securities firms contained in what has long been known as the “Glass Steagle Act.”
In contrast, the U.S. Patriot Act (more formally known as the International Money Laundering Abatement and Anti-Terrorist Financing Act of 2001), passed immediately after September 11, 2001, authorized broad surveillance of financial transactions, claimed by some as contrary to the 1999 Act. Some commentators have suggested that the U.S. Patriot Act violates the Fourth Amendment constitutional rights of individuals. That debate continues.
If you believe that financial information relating to your personal or business affairs has been improperly disclosed, please call us. We can advise you as to whether you should take action and what might be the result in such a circumstance.
— Mike Beausang