WASHINGTON - Democrats are expected to introduce President Clinton's privacy legislation today.House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt and Rep. John J. LaFalce, the House Banking Committee's ranking Democrat, are to co-sponsor the "Financial Information Privacy Protection Act," which would toughen the consumer privacy protections in the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. Sens. Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Paul S. Sarbanes, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, could introduce a companion bill as early as today.
The President outlined his proposal in a speech last weekend. It would require financial institutions to give customers a chance to block data sharing with both affiliated companies and third parties, whereas the financial reform law signed last November requires only that firms let customers "opt out" of data sharing with third parties. In addition, financial companies would have to get explicit permission from customers before sharing medical or detailed spending information.