Hackensack, NJ//March 17, 2003 "California will enhance its reputation as a privacy leader in the next twelve months," California State Senator Jackie Speier told a packed audience of bankers, business executives, privacy practitioners, advocates, and the media at Privacy & American Business Ninth Annual National Conference in Washington, D.C.

Author of a consumer financial privacy bill that would require explicit consumer permission (opt-in) before certain types of information sharing, Speier discussed the chances of her controversial bill passing this year after the three-year struggle to bring it to the governors desk for signature. The bill has drawn heavy criticism from financial services and marketing industries, many of whom were in the audience.

Speier explained that she had taken her cue from the recently implemented Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which set a minimum standard for financial information legislation in the states. She introduced her own bill with a strong opt-in component which has drawn sharp resistance from business leaders since 2000.

Speiers Necessary Elements

At the P&AB Conference, Speier announced four elements she says are necessary for an effective privacy law: meaningful opt-in; meaningful opt-out within a family of companies or affiliates; a simple and effective consumer choice form; and a serious deterrent to keep financial services companies from breaking the law once it is enacted.

Ballot Initiative

Chris Larsen, CEO of e-Loans publicly announced last week his efforts would be directed at placing a financial privacy initiative on the California ballot in March 2004. According to Speier, the only way the ballot measure wont go forward is if there is a significant financial privacy bill passed in the Assembly and signed by Governor Gray Davis.

Special Conference Package

The Senators full remarks and Q&A period with business leaders in attendance at the P&AB Conference during her appearance are available on audio tape. Also available is a special Conference package which includes audio tapes of all sessions from March 12-14 and six unique P&AB Conference publications, plus an Executive Guide to P&ABs Conference & Workshop. Contact Olga Garey at (201) 996-1154 or for more information.

About Privacy & American Business

Privacy & American Business, (,,, is an activity of the Center for Social & Legal Research, a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy think tank exploring U.S. and global issues of consumer and employee privacy and data protection since its launch in 1993.  

Always on the cutting edge, P&AB was the first to chart and analyze for business the rise of privacy from a second-tier concern to a front-burner issue and to provide opportunities in programs and meetings to assist businesses in understanding the privacy environment as it is evolving. P&AB, a pioneer in recognizing the rise of the corporate privacy officer (CPO), was the first to open its CPO Program in 1999.  

The Center and all its activities are led by Dr. Alan Westin, President and Publisher of P&AB; Robert Belair, Partner at Oldaker, Biden & Belair and P&ABs Vice President; and Lorrie Sherwood, P&ABs Executive Director.  

Contact: Irene Oujo, P&AB at (201) 996-1154 or