With some exceptions, consumers have the right to block a financial institution from sharing non-public and personal information with outside organizations or companies. Consumers also have some limited rights because of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This simply means that a consumer has some control over what is shared with other affiliates.

What information is not shared if a consumer opts out?

Under the law a consumer cannot prohibit a financial institutions from sharing some personal information with outside organizations. For example:

  • Information that is necessary for conducting normal business.
  • Information that is necessary for protection against fraud or unauthorized transactions.
  • If the institution believes that the information is already available publically.
  • When the information is used along with a joint marketing agreement such as an endorsement, offer or sponsorship for services or products.

How can a consumer opt out?

Consumers have the option to “opt out” of allowing their information to be shared with third parties. One reason to opt out is to keep the amount of unsolicited promotions from occurring. For some consumers, they like the unsolicited promotion since they are made aware of new services or products. It’s important to review the policy of each financial institution to determine what information is shared, whom it is shared with and how it is shared. In most cases, consumers can opt out of having their information shared. An institution should be willing to explain how they collect, store and share the personal information of consumers who do business with them.

Will a financial institution let me change my information?

The law does not dictate that a financial institution has to allow a consumer access to their personal information before it is shared. The consumer does not get to make changes to information. However, some financial institutions will allow consumers to view personal records and make comments about the accuracy of the content on some occasions.