Not-So-Sexy Topic of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act

The Not-So-Sexy Topic of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)

Understanding the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) is crucial in the investigative industry. It is through this act that databases, such as IRBsearch, are able to provide you with exclusive information without overstepping privacy protection issues. GLBA data is a solid and legal foundation on which to launch a search for investigators.

So what is the GLBA and what does it mean for our industry?

Signed into law on November 12, 1999, the act included a small privacy amendment, Title V. It all started when U.S. Representative Joe Barton (R-TX6) received a Victoria's Secret catalogue. Barton claimed that he, nor his wife, ordered the catalogue, and was worried that his credit union had given his private information to a third party. It just so happens that this whole ordeal came to fruition at the same time of as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was being fine-tuned.

The bill was designed to improve rules on banking, security, and financial institutions. If industry mergers took place, it would allow customers to perform banking and investments under the same roof—therefore, banks would acquire a slew of new information. This prompted legislative stipulations for individual privacy rights, and thus the addition of the Title V privacy amendment to the GLBA.

In short, Title V of the GLBA prohibits just anyone from accessing certain undisclosed material. Professional investigators were granted the ability – with proper documentation and permitted uses – to access this protected information. Whenever an IRBsearch customer accesses the IRBsearch database, the data delivered is of a higher quality, more accurate, and more up-to-date. Upon logging into a GLBA database, the investigator must select a valid purpose for research. The selections available generally mirror the specific exceptions contained in the privacy amendment. The exceptions range from matters of public safety and compliance with local laws, to official representatives acting on behalf of a customer and detecting unauthorized transactions.

Remember, not all databases are GLBA compliant! GLBA information is the cream of the crop for non-public, personal information. Within GLBA data lies credit header information from multiple financial institutions. Surprisingly, it's not always the financial information that is so attractive to the researcher. Many times the informational gold is all the personal identifying information such as aliases, current and previous addresses, date of birth, and a social security number. This sensitive information is only available to vetted and industry-specific individuals.
Anybody can jump on the Internet and do some basic research, but seasoned professionals tend to go with true professional databases. GLBA databases have invested considerable time, money, and security protocols to ensure accurate and protected data is available to appropriate sources.
It may not be the sexiest topic of the twenty-first century, but as Representative Barton discovered, GLBA data can make a world of difference in locating your subject—whether you are the one being discovered, or the one doing the researching!


IRBsearch is a premier online database providing you with the most information, best data sources, and fastest delivery for locating people, businesses, and their assets. With one click you can search billions of records in just a fraction of a second. IRBsearch provides daily source updates and produces the most accurate and thorough reports in the industry. New to the market, IRBfocus boasts a clean design and cutting edge technology that is sure to enhance your searching experience. Ready to explore new depths? Give us a call at 800-447-2112 or visit us at to discover the difference for yourself!

Lynzee Jablonka
Marketing Coordinator
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