Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

FTC Sweep Tags Banks F or Privacy Gaffes

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

FTC Sweep Tags Banks F or Privacy Gaffes

Article excerpt

EYE ON PRIVACY

The Federal Trade Commission's "sweeps" of bank and other Web sites that Briefing warned you about earlier this year (ABA BJ, March, p.7) has come and gone. Now banks have to cope with the black eye that the FTC left the industry with regarding its privacy protection practices. ABA responded to the agency's study with some research of its own.

FTC staff browsed through 1,400 Web sites, looking for disclosures in either a "privacy policy notice" or an "information practice statement." FTC staff's findings were incorporated into a June report to Congress regarding the efficacy of relying on self-regulation as the means of ensuring consumer privacy on the Web.

In general, the FTC's conclusions to Congress were damning, to say the least:

"As evidenced by the Commission's survey results, and despite the Commission's three-year privacy initiative supporting a self-regulatory response to consumers privacy concerns, the vast majority of online businesses have yet to adopt even the most fundamental fair information practice. …

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