How To Opt Out Of Database Sharing

WHO'S GOT YOUR NUMBER?

For years banks and other financial outfits have made bundles of money selling the vital statistics they've collected from you--data known legally as "nonpublic personal information"--to direct-marketers and other sales organizations. That haul includes your name, address, Social Security number and financial history--basically all the information about you that can't be gleaned from public sources.

Most people had no idea such sales were taking place, but the 1999 Gramm-Leach-Bliley law requires banks, securities firms, insurers and the like to allow you to "opt out," or restrict the practice of sharing these data with unaffiliated companies. By July 1, 2001, and annually...

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