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Financial Privacy: Perspectives from the Payment Cards Industry

A Conference Sponsored by the Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Friday, March 21, 2003
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

The debate on financial privacy continues. The discussions have evolved and new issues have emerged. Recent work by academic researchers and legal scholars has helped to better frame many of the underlying principles. Policy debate at both the federal and state levels has added new information and better defined positions. And, of course, the actual experiences of industry participants and consumers have provided practical clarification to a number of implementation issues for privacy rules. At the same time, new issues have emerged. The upcoming sunset of the 1996 FCRA preemption amendment has heightened debate and introduced new legislative dynamics that seem certain to result in some change to the status quo. The USA PATRIOT Act and government expectations for almost on-demand access to customer financial information will undoubtedly complicate privacy management practices.

This one-day symposium sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Payment Cards Center is intended to contribute new insights into these issues. The discussions are not intended so much as a debate but rather as an opportunity for responsible dialogue among representatives of the industry to bring further clarity to their perspectives. Through discussion of industry privacy practices and an assessment of current and prospective developments, the conference will search to identify critical issues to be addressed and explore approaches for resolution.

In addition to the participation of card industry executives and other interested constituents, the symposium will benefit from the perspective of knowledgeable attorneys from the law firm of Morrison & Foerster, who have helped organize this event with the Payment Cards Center.

Conference Agenda

9:30 a.m.

Registration and Coffee

10:00 a.m.


  • Anthony M. Santomero, President, FRB Philadelphia
  • Peter Burns, Vice President and Director of the Payment Cards Center, FRB Philadelphia

10:15 a.m.

A Status Review on the Financial Privacy Debate

  • Oliver Ireland, Morrison & Foerster LLP

The privacy debate has continued to evolve over the past several years. These opening remarks will serve to review these developments and offer thought as to future directions.

10:45 a.m.

What Information Is Used by the Industry and How Is It Used?

  • Moderator: Richard Fischer, Morrison & Foerster LLP
  • Robert Ryan, TransUnion
  • Timothy Spainhour, Acxiom

This panel will open discussion of the topic by describing information use practices as seen from their unique industry partnering perspectives. How is information used for the critical business functions of underwriting, marketing, and identification?

12:15 p.m.

Informal Luncheon

1:15 p.m.

Perspectives on Privacy: The Banker and the Economist

  • Peter Swire, George Washington University School of Law

The afternoon session will begin with a look at the way privacy is viewed from different perspectives and the benefits that might be derived from a synthesized approach.

1:45 p.m.

Information Management and Compliance Practices

  • Moderator: Richard Fischer, Morrision & Foerster LLP
  • William Brooks, MBNA America
  • Andy Navarrete, Capital One

This discussion segment will focus on industry practices designed to manage information in ways that protect customer interests and comply with regulatory requirements. The discussion will also examine existing and future challenges that arise from developments in technology, evolving business practices, regulation, and/or legislation.

3:15 p.m.

Summing Up Key Issues and Conclusions

  • Peter P. Burns, FRB Philadelphia
  • Oliver Ireland, Morrison & Foerster LLP

We will close the day with a moderated discussion of the key issues developed throughout the day and identification of potential remedies. Common remedies such as transparency and disclosure practices, security and control mechanisms, recourse in the event of material harm, as well as prescriptive rules may have different applications to different issues.

4:00 p.m.