SEATTLE - A 1999 Minnesota settlement in which U.S. Bancorp agreed not to share a customer's personal financial information with bank affiliates or other businesses without the customer's consent has been expanded to cover more states.
According to Christine Gregoire, attorney general for the state of Washington, a settlement was filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis that adds Washington, 37 other states, and the District of Columbia to the earlier agreement.
In the wake of the Minnesota settlement, Washington and the other states sought restitution for U.S. Bank customers living in their states. The amended agreement calls for the bank to pay $2 million of consumer restitution and monetary damages. Washington's share of the settlement is nearly $67,000.
U.S. Bank must make restitution to all consumers who purchased - but did not use - goods or services from third-party marketers who originally obtained a consumer's information from the bank. U.S. Bank will notify consumers who may be eligible for restitution.
The bank must also give consumers the option of prohibiting it from sharing personal information with any third-party marketers or bank affiliates. Current federal law requires only that banks ask consumers if they object to having their information shared with nonaffiliated third parties.
"This settlement gives U.S. Bank customers even greater privacy rights than those already provided in federal law," Ms. Gregoire said. "Hopefully, this settlement will be a blueprint for even tougher national privacy legislation."