Data Mines and Battlefields: Looking at Financial Aggregators to Understand the Legal Boundaries and Ownership Rights in the Use of Personal Data


Julia Alpert Gladstone


VOL. XIX • Winter 2001 • NO. 2 (table of contents)

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Financial Web aggregation is a service that allows the customer to view all data from various accounts including financial institutions, stockbrokers, airline frequent flyer and other reward programs. Financial Web aggregation services may be offered on a stand-alone basis but the trend is to offer them in conjunction with other financial services, most commonly bill payment. HyperText Markup Language (“HTML”) technology is used to obtain the account information, this is most often done without the permission of the provider. The alternative to HTML connection is direct feed aggregation…the aggregator requires the implementation of specific software, i.e. Open Financial Exchange software. This article examines two major federal statutes that will most influence the development of the financial aggregation service industry, namely the Electronic Fund Transfer Act(“EFTA”) and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”). The personal information belongs to the consumer, and the consumer has a fundamental right to privacy in this data that is best protected when it is treated as a property right.

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