Comments to FTC on National Credit Reporting Agencies and Free Reports: Credit Reports Most People Have Never Heard Of

We urge the Commission to study national consumer reporting agencies sooner rather than later and to issue regulations giving consumers' access to free reports. In our 12-year history we have received many complaints from individuals who have been harmed or otherwise disadvantaged because of erroneous or inappropriate information in such consumer reports.

Radio Frequency Identification: Applications and Implications for Consumers

Industry representatives have described the numerous benefits of RFID in today's workshop. But RFID is a classic information technology in that there is a potential downside as well. If the technology is implemented irresponsibly, we as a society could experience it not as a wonderful convenience with many social benefits, but as a tool for consumer profiling and tracking -- in other words, as one part of a larger surveillance infrastructure.

Consumer Notice Requirements for Opting Out of Pre-Approved Offers of Credit

For years, consumers have received preapproved credit offers with required notices and opt-out telephone numbers buried in fine print along with other mandatory legal notices. We support the Commission’s proposal to provide a layered notice. The proposal calls for a “short notice” on the principal promotional document. The short notice includes the most important information, including opt-out telephone number, with direction to a “long notice” located elsewhere in the solicitation.

Comments on FACTA Disposal Rule: Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records

The Disposal Rule, as proposed, covers a wide array of entities that compile and use consumer data. Once finalized, the Rule will impose records disposal requirements on entities that before had no reason to consider the consequences of irresponsible information handling practices.

Comments on FACTA Disposal Rule, RIN 3064-AC77: Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act Disposal of Consumer Report Information and Records

Irresponsible handling of sensitive consumer data has long been cited as a contributing factor to identity theft. A practice known as "dumpster diving" is often claimed by thieves themselves as the source of the data that allowed them to commit the crime. Sensitive data discarded by a financial institution provides a prime opportunity for a crook to access another's personal data.

By enacting §216 requiring proper disposal of consumer information, Congress has given the public one of the strongest tools yet in combating the growing crime of identity theft. It is now up to the financial regulators and the FTC to carry out Congress' intent by adopting strong regulations to ensure identity theft is no longer fed by careless and irresponsible disposal of confidential consumer data.

Phishing Emails Can Lead to Domain Registration for Scam Web Sites

"Phishing" emails are sent by scam artists and are disguised to look like they come for a legitimate financial institution or other online vendor such as eBay or PayPal. The PRC has received reports from those who have replied to phishing emails with their name, address and phone number who later learned that their personal information was used by the phisher to register web site domains. At times, if they also provided a legitimate credit card number, it may be used to pay for the web site registration, too.

Google's New Email Service, Gmail, Under Fire for Privacy Concerns, Possible Wiretap Law Violations

Gmail has raised privacy concerns because users cannot opt out of having incoming emails scanned for keywords that Google then uses for content-targeted advertising. In addition, Google's Terms of Service admits that Gmail messages may remain on its system for an indefinite period -- even after an account has been deleted.

Thirty-One Privacy and Civil Liberties Organizations Urge Google to Suspend Gmail

The World Privacy Forum and 30 other privacy and civil liberties organizations have written a letter calling upon Google to suspend its Gmail service until the privacy issues are adequately addressed. The letter also calls upon Google to clarify its written information policies regarding data retention and data sharing among its business units.

Letter to County Tax Equalizer Director: You Do Not Have Permission to Post a Photo of Our Home on the Internet

We do not give permission to the county of Grand Forks, to the state of North Dakota,  to any government entity, or official, to take a picture of our home and place it on the internet.  Privacy concerns of the citizens of Grand Forks should be addressed, as well as public interests when placing property tax information on the internet.

Survey Finds Most Online Pharmacies Do Not Give HIPAA Privacy Notices

Readability consultant Mark Hochhauser, Ph.D., in cooperation with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, conducted a survey of 50 online pharmacy web sites from mid-April through July 9, 2004. Of the 50, a scant 11 sites (22%) included a HIPAA privacy notice as required by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the federal medical privacy rule.


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