The Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking relating to the Privacy of Consumer Financial Information Conforming Amendments Under Dodd-Frank Act

Guidance from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on What Employers Need To Know About Background Checks, Credit History, and Consumer Reports

As an employer, you may use consumer reports or credit history checks when you hire new employees and when you evaluate employees for promotion, reassignment, and retention — as long as you comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which spells out your responsibilities when using consumer reports for employment purposes.

There are legal consequences for employers who fail to get an applicant’s permission before requesting a consumer report or who fail to provide pre-adverse action disclosures and adverse action notices to unsuccessful job applicants. The FCRA allows individuals to sue employers for damages in federal court. A person who successfully sues is entitled to recover court costs and reasonable legal fees. The law also allows individuals to seek punitive damages for deliberate violations. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission, other federal agencies, and the states may sue employers for noncompliance and obtain civil penalties.

The Agency-approved Model Privacy Form for Financial Institutions Gives Safe Harbor under the Privacy Rule of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

The Agencies include the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Treasury (OCC); Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Board); Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Office of Thrift Supervision, Treasury (OTS); National Credit Union Administration (NCUA); Federal Trade Commission (FTC); Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

While strict adherence to this “model” form is potentially difficult or impossible for some organizations, financial institutions and those organizations that support financial institutions would be well-served by examining the ability to adopt these model privacy notice forms.