Did you know that a Victoria’s Secret catalog is one of the top reasons that Congress included privacy protections in the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLB Act)? The GLB Act protects consumers’ financial information and requires financial institutions to explain their information-sharing practices to consumers. These privacy protections were introduced by Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts –the GLB Act’s privacy protections are known as Title V. Markey did not receive much support at the get-go; however, Representative Joe Barton of Texas expressed his support (and concern) for protecting financial information. Barton explained that his credit union had sold his address to Victoria’s Secret and that he started receiving catalogs at his home. Of course, we all receive catalogs all the time, but Barton’s concern was that he did not want his wife thinking that he had bought lingerie for women in Washington, D.C. (where his wife presumably did not spend most of her time). With Barton’s support, the Markey Title V amendment to the GBL Act was passed and Barton could rest easy that his credit union would no longer sell his information to lingerie stores. Note, however, that Barton’s address was most likely not sold to Victoria’s Secret directly. Many financial institutions furnish customer data to credit reporting agencies, which was most likely then sold to a third party advertiser. Thankfully Barton received that Victoria’s Secret catalog or perhaps there wouldn’t have been enough support to include these important privacy protections that we still support and follow today. You never know where the inspiration for privacy protections may have come from.