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SACRAMENTO, Calif. – As he promised to do, Gov. Gray Davis signed Calfiornia’s historic privacy bill in to law, giving California consumers the right to block banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions from sharing most of their personal information. SB 1, the California Financial Information Privacy Act by Sen. Jackie Speier took four years to pass and was finally passed last week by the state legislature after banks, insurance companies, and brokerages that were faced with a statewide ballot initiative that would have resulted in tough financial privacy protections. SB1 is effective July 1, 2004, but banks may still sue to block some or all of the new law before it takes effect. The California Credit Union League commended the governor for signing the bill, and said the new law “strikes a workable balance between the rights of California consumers to control the sharing of their personal information, and the need of credit unions to be able to communicate with their members. If banks do not stand by their agreement on the measure, Speier said at an Aug. 14th news conference that it would be her “suggestion that every Californian that they take their money out of the banks and put their money into the credit unions in California.”

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