Privacy Advisor

Florida Bank to Pay $50 Million to Settle Class Action Suit

September 1, 2006

Fidelity Federal Bank & Trust of West Palm Beach will pay $50 million as the result of a recent a class-action settlement.

Over the course of three years, the bank bought 565,000 motorists' names from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for a cost of $5,656 (one cent per name). Motorists from the four counties involved who file claims will get no more than $160 each.

The bank got caught in the gap between the federal law which forbids disclosure unless the motorist authorizes it, and Florida law, which until 2004, allowed such disclosure unless a motorist "opted out" at a driver's license office or online.

The names were purchased by Fidelity Federal for use in a marketing campaign to promote auto loans.


Sources: Palm Beach Post, Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles