According to the Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC” or “Commission”) semiannual regulatory agenda, the FTC, banking agencies, and the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) (collectively hereinafter “agencies”) expect to act on the long-anticipated Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”) model privacy form by summer 2009.3 The privacy rule implementing GLBA requires financial services institutions to provide customers with notice of their privacy practices. Congress, through the Financial Services Regulatory Relief of Act of 2006, directed the agencies jointly to develop a model financial privacy form as a means to provide required GLBA privacy disclosures. Specifically,
Congress required that the model form: (1) be comprehensible to consumers; (2) provide clear and conspicuous disclosures; (3) allow consumers easily to identify financial institutions’ sharing practices and to compare privacy practices across financial institutions; and (4) be succinct. Congress also specified that the agencies must accept public comments on their jointly-developed model form. Additionally, Congress stated that use of the model form by financial institutions would constitute a safe harbor from enforcement of the GLBA required privacy disclosures.
Since May 2007, the agencies have been reviewing public comments received on the proposed model form. In April 2009, the SEC reopened the comment period for 30 days, ending on May 20, 2009. With no legal deadline in place, the agencies are not required to meet the projected release date of this summer.