The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, also known as the Financial Modernization Act of 1999 includes provisions to protect the personal information that is gathered by financial institutions about their customers. The Act requires that institutions give customers privacy notices that explain collection and sharing practices. In turn, customers have the right to limit the sharing of some information.
"We may also share this individual investor information, under joint marketing agreements with non-affiliated, financial services business partners to offer discounts or other special access to products and services."
What info are we talking about? The policy says it could include your name, address, Social Security number, birth date, assets, income, trading history and even "discussions with our customer service staff."
The San Francisco discount broker is including a form titled "Important Privacy Choice" in customers' latest statements. "You have the right to control whether we share some of your personal information," it prominently declares.