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(June 21, 2001) -- Consumer advocate Ralph Nader today accused banks and financial institutions of misleading the public about the importance of opting out of having their personal information sent to third parties.

A new law requires banks and finacial institutions to notify customers that they can have their personal information kept private. Mr. Nader called on the new chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., to move quickly to pass new privacy laws.

Mr. Nader warned that without legislation the result will be a "bonanza for the junk-mail operators and identity-theft specialists," and he also warned that the current law is opening the door to a "wholesale invasion of consumers' privacy." -- Ira Teinowitz

Copyright June 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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