Know Your Rights

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and other federal regulators require banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms and certain businesses who share financial information to tell you their privacy policies. They must give you this information when you open an account, and at least once every year after. They must include:

  • the kinds of information being collected;
  • how the confidentiality and security of this information will be protected; and
  • what types of businesses may be provided this information.

If a business is going to share the information with anyone outside its corporate family, it must also give you the chance to "opt-out" or say no to information sharing. Even if you don't opt out, your actual account numbers may not be shared with third parties for marketing purposes.

You cannot prevent certain types of information from being shared, including information needed to conduct normal business or protect against fraud, or information that is already publicly available. Also, a bank can share your information with a partner company to market products.

Your credit information has additional privacy protections under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Only people with a legitimate business need can get a copy of your report. An employer can only get your report with your written consent. For more information on your rights under this federal law and to find out how you can get a copy of your credit report, visit the Credit Bureaus and Credit Scores section.

If Your Wallet is Lost or Stolen

Your wallet contains some of your most important personal items, from hard-earned money to credit cards and driver’s license. For an identity thief, your wallet offers a treasure trove of personal information. If your wallet is lost or stolen:

  • File a report with the police immediately.
  • Cancel your credit and debit cards and request new cards and account numbers.
  • Report the missing cards to the major credit reporting agencies.
  • Report your missing license to the department of motor vehicles.

Check with the Federal Trade Commission for more information on protecting your privacy