Good evening and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question. The California Financial Information Privacy
Act makes it illegal for financial institutions to share "nonpublic personal information" with third parties without the customer's consent. The act defines "nonpublic persona information" as: "Nonpublic personal information" means personally identifiable financial information (1) provided by a consumer to a financial institution, (2) resulting from any transaction with the consumer or any service performed for the consumer, or (3) otherwise obtained by the financial institution. Nonpublic personal information does not include publicly available information that the financial institution has a reasonable basis to believe is lawfully made available to the general public from (1) federal, state, or local government records,(2) widely distributed media, or (3) disclosures to the general public that are required to be made by federal, state, or local law.Nonpublic personal information shall include any list, description,or other grouping of consumers, and publicly available information pertaining to them, that is derived using any nonpublic personal information other than publicly available information, but shall not include any list, description, or other grouping of consumers, and publicly available information pertaining to them, that is derived without using any nonpublic personal information." The Act goes on to state: " An entity that negligently discloses or shares non public personal information in violation of this division shall be liable,irrespective of the amount of damages suffered by the consumer as a result of that violation, for a civil penalty not to exceed two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) per violation. However, if the disclosure or sharing results in the release of nonpublic personal information of more than one individual, the total civil penalty awarded pursuant to this subdivision shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000)." Arguably, sharing the name of a banking customer with one's wife would constitute the sharing of non-public personal information with a third party, since where an individual banks is not generally public information. This seems like a bit of a stretch, though, especially since the sharing was not for a commercial purpose, and it seems based on your facts that neither your employer nor the customer are aware you shared the information with your wife anyway. The issue upsetting the customer is that you viewed their LinkedIn profile. That on its own would not typically violate any law at all and could not form the basis for a legal action. Now, it's important to understand that just because something is illegal doesn't mean your employer cannot discipline you or even terminate you for it. Employment in CA is "at will
" absent an express agreement to the contrary. At will employment can be terminated for any reason not amounting to discrimination
on the basis of a legally protected trait (race, religion, gender, etc.) or retaliation
for engaging in certain forms of legally protected conduct (filing a wage
claim, taking FMLA
leave, etc.). It doesn't matter whether the basis for termination
is fair, reasonable or even true. Thus, regardless of whether you have created any legal exposure for your employer if they feel you acted inappropriately in any manner, rightly or wrongly, they can take action up to and including termination against you. All you can do is attempt to reason with them and explain your actions. I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.* Disclaimer *Just Answer is a venue for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney-client relationship is formed by these communications.