Model Privacy Forms

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As you may be aware, on November 16, 2009, various Federal regulatory agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and various Federal banking regulators, adopted model privacy forms that financial institutions may rely on as a safe harbor to provide disclosures under the agencies’ privacy rules (in the case of the Commission, Regulations S-P and S-AM). While the use of the model privacy forms has been permitted since December 31, 2009, as of January 1, 2011 financial institutions no longer can rely on the safe harbors/guidance that had been in place prior to the adoption of the model privacy forms.

The model forms were adopted in response to a 2006 statute requiring the agencies to jointly develop an optional model form for the provision of disclosure under each agency’s privacy rules under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.1 The model forms are intended to provide a standardized format for privacy notices. Each agency has adopted a number of model forms, with each designed for use under a particular scenario (e.g., model form with no opt-out right and model form with opt-out by telephone or online). In addition, each agency has provided a link on its website to an “Online Form Builder” that provides downloadable, fillable versions of the model forms.

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