Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Riles U.S. Lawyers

Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Riles U.S. Lawyers

Article excerpt

The application of Title V of the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, enacted by the 106th Congress, to the legal profession continues to concern the U.S. legal profession.

As of last July 1, a section of the act (15 U.S.C. [section] 6802), as implemented by regulations of the Federal Trade Commission (16 C.F.R. Part 313), requires any "financial institution" to provide to its customers notice of policies for the protection of individually identifiable personal information, as well as the opportunity to opt out of most disclosures of such information to third parties. When it issued the regulations, the FTC did not exempt lawyers and law firms from the privacy notice provisions, despite the fact that the legal profession has its own regulations concerning confidentiality of client information.

The FTC construed "financial institution" to include businesses "significantly engaged in financial activities" of the nature described in the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. [section] 1843(k)), as well as other activities designated by the Federal Reserve Board. …

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