Nine months after the passage of sweeping financial services reform legislation, insurers are still in the dark about how they will be affected by consumer privacy provisions that are outlined in the law.The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act contains a large section, called Title V, outlining how financial service holding companies can internally share customer information and restricts how customer information can be shared with another firm.

Under the law, federal agencies were required to set privacy standards by Nov. 12, 2000 for federally regulated banks and securities firms. Those guidelines were established in May, but federal agencies will not enforce the guidelines until July 1, 2001. Insurance companies, on the other hand, are hamstrung by state efforts to draft consumer privacy laws that some industry groups say are more stringent than the federal guidelines.

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