Consumer watchdog pushes banks to post privacy policies online

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is pushing banks and other financial institutions to post privacy disclosures online, so information about their data-sharing activities is more accessible to consumers.

The CFPB announced it is considering a new rule that is intended to limit banks' data-sharing activities and improve transparency, and claimed it would save the industry millions of dollars each year.

“Consumers need clear information about how their personal information is being used by financial institutions,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “This proposal would make it easier for consumers to find and access privacy policies, while also making it cheaper for industry to provide disclosures.”

Currently, banks are required to mail privacy disclosures to their customers once a year. But the new rules would instead allow these disclosures to be posted online, under certain conditions. The privacy disclosures explain whether a bank is sharing customers' personal information, what information is being shared, and whom it is being shared with.

Consumer watchdog pushes banks to post privacy policies online