Tue, Oct 10, 2000 4:54 PM
Subject: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Privacy Safeguard Rule, 16 CFR Part 313-Comment.
October 10, 2000
By Electronic Mail
Re: Gramm-Leach-Bliley Privacy Safeguard Rule, 16 CFR Part 313-Comment.
724 Solutions Inc. and its affiliates ("724 Solutions") appreciate the opportunity to comment on the above advance notice of proposed rulemaking (the "Notice") in relation to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. In these comments, 724 Solutions will only address issues related to the range of financial institutions subject to the safeguards rule, specifically refered to as Section B, Heading 2 in the Notice. 724 Solutions submits that the Commission should determine that data aggregators, and in particular, data aggregators that provide services to financial institutions, do not and should not fall within the scope of a "financial institution" as described in section 4(k) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 USC 1843(k)).
Through its wholly owned subsidiary Ezlogin.com, Inc., 724 Solutions is a leading provider of Internet infrastructure and aggregation tools for consumer-driven personalization. Ezlogin was one of the first aggregators in the marketplace. The services offered by 724 Solutions include giving consumers the ability to create a personalized summary page where they can access a consolidated view of all of their personal accounts after entering a single user name and password. The underlying technology involves the ability to automatically and simultaneously navigate to the web sites specified by the consumer, securely log the consumer in, extract the desired content (e.g., account balances, transaction details) and present it in summary format on the consumer's access device of choice. This means that, rather than visiting different web sites to access online bank, brokerage, and e-mail accounts, consumers may enter one password and access all of those accounts from one page. 724 Solutions supports hundreds of sites in a variety of areas, including: finance, news, multimedia, personal, shopping, and travel.
In addition to licensing its aggregation software product, 724 Solutions also operates the software in a service bureau environment. This hosted environment permits 724 Solutions to offer aggregation services through the branded web site of a partner financial institution, or through its public website ( www.724liveclips.com <http://www.724liveclips.com> ). In every case, however, Ezlogin is appointed as the agent and attorney-in-fact for the consumer. Ezlogin acts as the representative of the consumer when requesting information from a financial information as part of its aggregation service.
724 Solutions does not act as the financial institution itself; rather, it provides customers with information to which they are entitled access from a variety of sources, including financial institutions. 724 Solutions does not lend, exchange, transfer or invest monies for others, or safeguard money or securities. Further, 724 Solutions does not insure, guarantee, or indemnify against loss or harm, or provide or issue annuities, acting as principal, agent or broker in the foregoing, nor does 724 Solutions provide financial, investment or economic advisory services, or issue or sell instruments, underwrite, deal in or make a market in securities.
In short, in no manner does its aggregation service cause 724 Solutions to act in a manner closely related to banking or any other financial activity. 724 Solutions submits to the Commission that it is not "significantly engaged" in any of the above activities, which form the core of "activities financial in nature" as specified in section 4(k)(4) of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956.
724 Solutions accordingly requests that the Commission clarify that the Safeguards Rule does not apply to companies such as 724 Solutions that provide aggregation services to financial institutions.
I would be pleased to further discuss this issue and provide information to the Commission as it may decide appropriate.