WASHINGTON - Most consumers who have read their financial institutions' privacy policies understand them and are satisfied with the sections on data-sharing, a survey for the Securities Industry Association found.
However, only 60% of the people surveyed said they recalled receiving notices, which were mandated by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. It required financial services providers to establish a customer-information sharing policy and send customers a copy of it by July 1.
The survey, which was conducted Aug. 2-5 by Harris Interactive Inc., found 67% of those who recalled receiving a privacy notice from a financial company read it. Of those who read the policy, 84% said they understood it, and 74% said they were satisfied with the standards set by the companies.
Results of the survey were released Monday. Federal lawmakers and consumer advocates had charged that the notices were too complicated for the average consumer and too easily confused with "junk mail" and thus thrown away unread.
In its own campaign to sway public opinion, the National Consumer Coalition has unveiled a Web site containing information from surveys and others sources about financial, medical, and online privacy as well as government surveillance. The site's address is www.nccprivacy.org.