How is Your Personal Information Being Used?

by Kristina Tahnyak on May 30, 2012 · 0 comments

Good Morning DINKS.  As consumers we are very often asked to share our personal information such as our mailing address, our email address, as well as our phone number. Think about the last time that you made a purchase online or in a retail store.  Did the sales clerk or website ask for your postal code, email address, or phone number?  Sometime stores ask for our personal information because they want to know where to build new store locations, and sometimes retail and online stores ask for our personal information because they collect it and sell it to marketing companies for solicitation purposes.

I personally don’t mind giving out my postal code when I shop because I would like to have new store locations built closer to my home.  However I very rarely give out my email address or complete mailing address to online and retail stores because I hate being spammed with promotions and deals to random companies and being bombarded with unnecessary paper mailings that fill up my mailbox.  However, when our bank requests our personal information it can be for a totally different purpose, it can actually be for our benefit and our protection.

When our bank asks for our personal information it is usually only for internal marketing reasons and they rarely (if ever) sell it to third party companies for solicitation purposes.  When my bank asks for client information we advise clients that it will only be shared within our organization and only if the client approves.  Mostly we share client information between departments when the client applies for a new product such as a credit card or an investment account.

According to TD Bank US federal law allows consumers to prohibit the sharing of some of their personal information, but unfortunately it does not prohibit financial institutions from sharing all of our information.  Federal law also requires financial institutions to advise consumers how and why they collect and share their client’s personal information.

There are some circumstances when our financial institutions are required to share our personal information, such as to process our everyday banking transactions and perform account maintenance.  They may also share our information with their affiliates for marketing purposes to offer us new products and services.  Financial institutions also share our personal information with their affiliates with regards to the usage of our credit products as well as to determine our creditworthiness. Regardless of why or how our financial institution shares our personal information, we should know that our personal information is always protected.

Our financial institution may collect and share our Social Security Number and our personal income for tax purposes.  They may share our account balances and transaction history to offer different account packages, products, and services.  Our financial institution may also collect and share our credit history and credit scores if we apply for new products and/or services.

Next time your financial institution asks for your personal information don’t worry because your information is still safe. Just because our financial institution may share our personal information within their organization does not mean that our personal information is at risk.

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