Saturday, November 13, 2010

Are You Protecting the Personal Data of Your Clients and Customers?

Federal legislation protects certain types of personal data.  The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) - which is also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 - does a number of things.  One of the things it does is require protection of the nonpublic personal information of customers per its Privacy Rule.  Its Safeguards Rule requires businesses meeting the definition of a "financial institution" to write and follow a written security plan to safeguard the nonpublic personal information of customers.  (The definition of "financial institution" in the GLBA includes banks, credit unions, mortgage companies and lenders, insurance companies and agencies, and a host of other businesses you wouldn't normally consider to be financial institutions.  Click here for the definition of "financial institution" in the GLBA.)

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), among other things, protects the personal health information of consumers--both in paper and electronic form.  Its Privacy and Security Rules address these issues.

According to an article in, (, a Toronto, Canada publication, many professionals--including doctors, lawyers, employment agencies, and mortgage brokers--were found to have disposed of protected personal information in appropriate ways.  Like in the trash!

Are you respecting, protecting, safeguarding, and disposing of your customers' protected personal information in appropriate ways?

(Photo by Michelle Meiklejohn)

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