FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 1998
Contact: Public Affairs
Acting Comptroller Urges Concerted Response on Privacy Issues From Congress, Regulatory Agencies and the Financial Services Industry
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Acting Comptroller of the Currency Julie L. Williams told a House panel today that the convergence of two great trends — financial services consolidation and the information revolution — present new challenges to meet the public's legitimate privacy concerns that require a concerted response from Congress, the regulatory agencies and the nation's financial institutions.
"Surveys indicated that consumers are becoming increasingly anxious about what becomes of their personal information once it passes into the hands of the different companies receiving it," she said in testimony before the House Banking Committee. "What they do know, based on what they read and hear in the media, is that more and more well meaning Americans each year fall victim to information fraud and identity theft, causing hardship and inconvenience."
Ms. Williams, who convened a privacy working group at the OCC shortly after becoming acting Comptroller in April, cited three specific concerns:
Ms. Williams told the panel that the working group she convened at the OCC has begun looking into three broad areas: the security of bank customer information; the adequacy of bank website disclosure of privacy policies; and bank implementation of the information-sharing provisions of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
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