The Federal Trade Commission said today that the North Dakota financial privacy law is not preempted by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act (GLB Act) because it is "not inconsistent" with federal law. In a letter to Gary D. Preszler, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Banking and Financial Institutions, the FTC said, ". . . Congress established the privacy protections in the GLB Act as a 'floor,' or minimum protection for consumer privacy, that could be exceeded by the states."
In this case, the newly amended North Dakota statute permits financial institutions operating in that state to be "free simply to comply with the federal requirements" of the GLB Act. Therefore, the state and federal laws are "not inconsistent," and the North Dakota law is preserved.
On September 12, 2000, The North Dakota Department of Banking and Financial Institutions petitioned the FTC for a determination whether its law, the North Dakota Disclosure of Customer Information law was superseded, altered, or affected by GLB, and whether state-chartered financial institutions must comply with GLB Act provisions not addressed under the North Dakota statute.
The Commission vote to issue the letter was 5-0.
Copies of the letter are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.