City – The City Council voted 4-0 Monday
night (September 9, 2002) to adopt a stringent
consumer financial privacy protection law, making
Daly City the first city in California to have
one. Ordinance No. 1295 would require local financial
institutions "to provide their customers
notice and meaningful choice about how consumers'
personal information is shared or sold by their
Vice Mayor Adrienne Tissier, who originally introduced
the law on June 24th, reiterated her stance against
unwanted financial disclosure. "Financial
institutions know more about us than some members
of our own family. They have access to information
- equal to a financial x-ray - of who you are,
what you buy, how much you make, and what you
owe. The consumers, not the banks, own this information.
It should not be sold or shared with others, unless
and until permission is given," she stated.
"Consumers must be able to protect their
own financial DNA," echoed Mayor Michael
"I am very passionate about consumer protection,"
stated Councilmember Sal Torres. "The Daly
City ordinance focuses on banks because most of
them have a multitude of subsidiaries, including
insurance companies. Banks also have access to
the most number of consumers," he asserted.
Addressing the crowded Council Chambers, Councilmember
Carol Klatt thanked "all the residents who
called, and said they were supportive of this
ordinance." She added that she, too, favors
privacy protection for Daly City residents.
Similar legislation, authored by State Senator
Jackie Speier (D - San Francisco / San Mateo),
has stalled in the State Legislature for two consecutive
years. Federal legislation currently allows financial
institutions and insurance companies to trade
consumer information virtually without restriction.
Personal financial information of consumers who
have been "silent", or who have not
properly followed the often-complex procedures
for requesting privacy protection from these companies,
is currently not protected. In the absence of
an ordinance like Daly City's, the consumer's
confidential information can be sold or shared
"All politics are local," Vice Mayor
Tissier said, quoting former Congressional Minority
Leader Tip O'Neil. "This measure sends a
strong signal to the State Legislature that we,
at the local level, want action on this issue
in Sacramento." Tissier, a six-year member
of the City Council, vowed to work with other
cities in getting similar ordinances passed throughout
Ordinance No. 1295 will take effect January 1,
2003, and mandates a $500 fine for each violation
of the law.