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Straightjacket on privacy

August 13, 2002

California bill requires consumers' consent prior to distribution of financial, personal information

Inman News Features

Homeowners worried about their personal financial data being passed around like cake at a birthday party may not have to fret much longer.

If a new state law is passed in California, sharing and swapping mortgage information could become more difficult for mortgage and real estate companies.

State legislation that aims to give consumers more control over whether or not their financial and other personal information can be distributed and sold by their financial institutions is headed back to the State Legislature sometime this month, according to recent news reports.

Tougher legislation on privacy could put a crimp on the data sharing among lenders, real estate agents, title companies and other companies that use such information to generate leads.

The legislation spearheaded by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) requires that corporations must receive consumers' permission to either sell or distribute their personal information.

The legislation last year failed to pass the State Assembly by a vote of 32-26, nine votes short of the 41 votes necessary for passage, but is still active.

E-Loan co-founder Chris Larsen is prepared to provide $1 million toward a financial privacy ballot initiative if the legislation fails, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Copyright: Inman News Service

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