Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The sharing of consumers' financial information needs to be regulated to reduce the likelihood of the misuse of that information.
Financial institutions are required to provide their customers with information regarding their privacy policies on an annual basis. Financial institutions are prohibited from sharing nonpublic personally identifiable customer information with non-affiliated third parties, unless consumers are provided with an opportunity to opt-out.
My constituents have contacted me to express their frustrations with the opt-out process. The opt-out process is time consuming for many individuals and in some cases privacy notices are too difficult to understand.
Financial privacy is one of many areas in which consumers' financial literacy needs to be increased. Consumers need to be fully aware of their opportunities to exercise their financial privacy restrictions and how to do so.
In addition to education, a complete examination of the current laws intended to protect personal financial information is needed to ensure that consumers are protected.
Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you for conducting this hearing and I look forward to the testimony of the witnesses.