Obama Administration Recommends that Supreme Court Preserve California Financial Privacy Law, Dismiss Bankers' Appeal

In a filing this week, the Department of Justice urged the nation's highest court to leave intact California's financial privacy law, saying the law does not impose hardships on banks. The California law provides strong financial privacy safeguards, including the right to curtail sale of personal information by financial firms to affiliated companies, and to bar the sale of data to non-affiliates unless consumers explicitly "opt-in." A consortium of financial services companies have challenged the law and, in December 2008, asked the Supreme Court to consider the case. The firms argued that the California statute conflicts with other federal rules. The Supreme Court requested the Administration's view on the case, and has often followed the Department's opinions. Earlier in the litigation, EPIC urged a federal appeals court to uphold the California privacy law. For more information, see EPIC's ABA v. Brown and Privacy and Preemption Watch pages.

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