Designing Evidence-based Disclosures: A Case Study of Financial Privacy Notices

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Abstract

Disclosure is a key component of consumer protection policy. By informing consumers about a product or service, disclosures can help consumers understand product features and shop among products and providers to find the combination of features and price that best meets their needs. For example, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA, 15 U.S.C. 6801-6809) provides for disclosures of information-sharing practices of financial institutions and, in some cases, requires that these institutions offer consumers the opportunity to limit some of this sharing. Using these disclosures as a case study, this paper explores how research can help policymakers shift from a perspective of developing disclosures that are in technical compliance with the law to one of developing disclosures that consumers pay attention to, understand and use in their decision making.

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