Verifying Employment And Right To Financial Privacy
When it was found that bank customers had no legal right to privacy in case of their financial information held by financial institutions, the RFPA (Right to Financial Privacy Act) was enacted. The law requires government agencies to provide individuals with notice.
The RFPA limits the rights of the federal government to retrieve financial records of individuals. It also limits the rights of financial institutions to disclose such records to the government.
The RFPA states that no government authority may have access to obtain copies of financial records of any customer from a bank or financial institutions unless:
- There is an appropriate administrative summon
- There is a search warrant
- An authorized government authority has a appropriate written request
- The customer authorizes access
It will be very important to note that the act governs disclosures to the federal government and its agents, officers, agencies and department. It does not govern private businesses or local or state government. Moreover, the RFPA only covers individuals or partnerships of 5 or fewer than 5 individuals. Unincorporated associations such as employees union, trusts, and corporation are not covered.
There are also certain exceptions where certain financial records are not protected by the act. Under these situations an authorization, subpoena or warrant is not required and the disclosure by a financial institution is always permitted.
- Disclosures in connection with investigations and proceedings by a supervisory agency.
- Disclosures under the tax privacy provisions
- Disclosures that do not identify a particular customer. For example the federal department asks for records of employee benefit plans which are maintained by a national bank.
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