NU Online News Service, June 9, 2003, 11:13 a.m. EDT – The California Association of Health Underwriters, Los Angeles, is supporting the new, amended version of a financial privacy bill.

The bill S.B. 1, would prohibit companies from sharing a customer’s personal financial information without permission.

The California Assembly Banking and Finance Committee is now considering the bill, which was introduced by state Sen. Jackie Speier, D-Hillsborough, Calif.

The committee is holding a hearing on the bill today.

Many financial and banking institutions are opposing the bill, but CAHU President Aline Roberts put out a statement saying that the health care industry is already increasing efforts to keep medical information private.

“Our clients feel their financial information is just as sensitive as their medical records,” Robert says in the statement. “As an independent agent, I feel that it is my duty and responsibility to work as a consumer advocate on behalf of my clients to ensure their privacy rights are protected.”