Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Readability of Financial Privacy Notices


Federal regulators today released Evolution of a Prototype Financial Privacy Notice

The report’s release concludes the first phase of an interagency project […] to explore alternatives for financial privacy notices that would be easier for consumers to read, understand, and use than many of the notices consumers currently receive from financial institutions. These six agencies were among those that jointly issued regulations in 2000 implementing the financial privacy provisions of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, but survey data indicate that many consumers neither read nor understand the notices financial institutions provide under those regulations.

The report’s findings indicate that it is possible for financial privacy notices to include all of the information required by law in a short document that consumers can readily understand. The report fully describes the extensive research that underlies these findings and the development of a prototype simplified privacy notice.

Press release, “Report Issued on Improving Financial Privacy Notices for Consumers.” (I thought I’d blogged about these readability issues with privacy notices before, mentioned the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse readability studies. If you can find the post you get a beer.) I may blog if I get to the 384 page report, but I have a lot of long documents to read. The summary and samples are up front.