Banks that Complied with the FBI May Face Lawsuits, Say Privacy Advocates

By Brian Orsak

Banks that provided non-subpoenaed information to the Federal Bureau of Investigations may face civil action, according to privacy advocates and compliance consultants. The speculation follows a March 2007 report on national security letter subpoenas by the Office of the Inspector General that stated that some companies complying with FBI terrorist investigations provided excessive information about their customers. The information was, in some cases, retained while agents filed backdated subpoenas to justify their possession of the excess. The disclosure illustrates the informal way in which information is sometimes shared by financial institutions without the legal protection of a subpoena, a route...