Privacy Laws
June 23, 2004 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Privacy Laws: What kinds of information about my transactions can credit card companies sell or otherwise use commercially? What kinds of information can my landlord sell? A mortgage broker or lender? My insurers? Radio Shack?
posted by namespan to Law & Government (3 answers total)
I know that your credit card company sends you little slips of paper every once in a while with their privacy policy. I would assume they can do anything they spell out there.
posted by smackfu at 5:20 PM on June 23, 2004

As for Radio Shack, I have never seen any evidence that they used the info for any reason other than to piss off the customers with the time it takes. I took to refusing to give them my address, because I never even got their sales flyers.
posted by Goofyy at 10:37 PM on June 23, 2004

You can call all of these people and ask for copies of their privacy policies. A lot of the rules that govern these transactions vary from state to state. I know this because the privacy statements I get in the mail from my bank and my credit card company have a special "Notice to Vermont residents" section. Many of the provacy policies, if you read them, basically say "we care about your privacy. we share your information for blah blah blah reason with blah blah blah companies, and will do so unless you call us." The burden is on you to tell them not to share your information.

When I call them, I generally have to go through all these hurdles where people say "You realize that by limiting our ability to share your information, you may miss out on important special offers etc etc etc." My feeling, based on not too much information, is that businesses that are federally regulated or require certain information [Radio Shack does not require your info, they would just really really like it] has to let you know what they will do with that information.

Apropos of nothing, I find that mortgage companies are the worst offenders in this regard. When my roommate refinanced his house, we got 1-2 calls per day trying to sell us mortgage services.
posted by jessamyn at 8:29 AM on June 24, 2004

« Older Tomcat woes   |   Why are my rabbits fighting? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.