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Department Seeks Public Comment on Additional Privacy Safeguards

Superintendent Neil D. Levin today announced that the New York State Insurance Department has drafted a privacy regulation affording New York State insurance consumers privacy protections similar to those available under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act ("GLBA") for consumers of other financial institutions. The Department is seeking public comment on the proposal.

"It is important that consumers know their rights in order to make informed decisions regarding the use of their personal information," said Levin. "The New York State Insurance Department is committed to outreach efforts and consulting with New York’s consumers in order to gather information that will help us in the ongoing development of this proposal."

New York’s regulation, drafted in accordance with the GLBA directive, reflects the protections provided by the federal legislation with modifications for additional important consumer protections necessary in the unique business of insurance. The Department is seeking public comment on all of the areas of privacy protections mentioned in the proposal including protection of health information, treatment of group policies, and appropriate treatment of policy beneficiaries and claimants.

GLBA, passed by Congress last fall, allows banks to combine with other kinds of businesses, including insurance companies. Congress has drafted federal privacy standards and encouraged state insurance regulators to adopt privacy rules at least as stringent as the federal law.

The Department intends to finalize privacy regulations in the late fall. All comments should be directed to the Office of the General Counsel by July 7, 2000.


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