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Attorney General Lockyer Issues Statement in Response to Court Ruling Upholding Important California Consumer Protection Law
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued this statement in response to today's ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Morrison C. England upholding Senate Bill 1, the California Financial Information Privacy Act, which will go into effect July 1, 2004.:
"The ruling is an important victory for California consumers, and one that places the interests of personal privacy over corporate profits," Lockyer said. "Over the past few years, California has seen its attempts to protect consumers of financial services continually thwarted and undermined by the Bush Administration's alliance with the banking industry. This ruling is a welcome reversal of that anti-consumer trend."
Judge England granted the Attorney General's motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the American Bankers Association, the Financial Services Roundtables and the Consumer Bankers Association. The Attorney General's Office had argued that Senate Bill 1 appropriately protected California consumers' financial privacy and was not preempted by federal law. Judge England agreed.
The bill restricts the dissemination of personal financial information both between affiliated business institutions and non-affiliated third parties. Under the measure, financial institutions must give consumers the opportunity to block the sharing of personal financial information with affiliates. Additionally, the law requires financial institutions to obtain a consumer's express consent to disclose personal information to any non-affiliated third party.