Privacy advocates will have to pin their hopes on Senate Banking Committee Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., if they want to see national privacy standards enhanced through legislation extending provisions of the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) that expire at the end of this year.The House in September passed its version of FCRA legislation, via the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, using the measure more as a vehicle to provide citizens with increased protection from, and remediation for, identity theft.

And in California, legislation creating the toughest privacy standards in the nation was recently passed by the state legislature and signed by Gov. Gray Davis. But a provision in the law involving information-sharing between affiliates runs afoul of the national standards established under FCRA and would be pre-empted.

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