Do you ever wonder what financial services companies do with the highly personal information you are required to give them? These companies are privy to some of your most important information, such as social security number, income, credit history, account balances, transaction history and more.
I recently received an updated notice from American Express outlining what they legally do with my personal information, as well as what they don’t do. The notice also explains how I can limit the sharing of my information.
These are some reasons American Express says it shares your personal info, and is legally entitled to do so:

  • For our everyday business purposes– such as to process your transactions, maintain your account(s), respond to court orders and legal investigations, or report to credit bureaus
  • For our marketing purposes– to offer our products and services to you
  • For joint marketing with other financial companies
  • For our affiliates’ everyday business purposes– information about your transactions and experiences

See full list and explanations here: https://personalsavings.americanexpress.com/glbanotice.html
According to the privacy advocacy group, privacyrights.org, financial institutions must mail their customers privacy notices. It states that customers should pay close attention to mail containing phrases such as “Privacy Notice,” “Privacy Policy,” and “Opt-Out Notice.”
See more details here: https://www.privacyrights.org/financial-privacy-how-read-your-opt-out-notices
The law under the Financial Services Modernization Act, also known as GLB, gives consumers the right to opt-out of some personal information sharing, but these options are limited. The opt-out policies usually deal only with “non-affiliated third parties.” And customers have the burden of understanding and taking steps to opt-out. In other words, the financial institutions are not obligated to make it simple for you.
In today’s world, is it possible to prevent the “sharing” of any or all of your personal financial information? The answer is no. However, you should read all of your statements and other notices very carefully in order to know your privacy rights are and the steps you needed to minimize the sharing of your personal financial information.
I’m Attorney Francine Ward, and what do you think? Join the conversation on my Facebook Law Fan Page, my Twitter Law Page, my Google+ Page, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.

Skip to content