Industry News

Lenders should get real about privacy

Opinion: Borrower permission should be standard procedure on data-sharing

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It's high time for lenders to stop "sharing" borrowers' personal information with affiliated companies in defiance of their loud, clear and repeated indications that they dislike this practice and believe it violates their personal privacy. Federal law allows financial institutions to utilize opt-out procedures for consumers who don't want their own name, telephone number, household income and other data to be shuffled about among other companies without their knowledge. Opt-out means the consumer's consent to data reuse is assumed, unless the consumer complies with the opt-out procedure. The opt-out option should be eliminated because lenders have implemented it in ways that are too little and too late to protect consumers' privacy. Opt outs typically force consumers to complete and return a privacy form or make a telephone call to gain the privacy protection they should have as a basic right. The opt-out forms usually are tiny, insignificant-looking documents that arrive in as snai...