For a Complete Medical History, Compile Your Own Health Records but be Cautious about Storing Them Online


If you don't already keep a personal health record, now is the best time to start. Do not rely on your ability to go back in time to collate a complete medical file. The longer you wait, the more difficulty you may have in obtaining older health records.

Comments to the FTC on Accuracy in Background Checks and Insurance Reports


The FTC should separately undertake a review of inaccuracies in employment reports and insurance claims reports.  From our experience, job applicants and employees encounter significant problems when an erroneous criminal history is reported to an employer. Local, state and federal court records are public records that are available to anyone and are not compiled for the purpose of furnishing data to consumer reporting agencies.

The VA's Data Breach - Tips for Veterans and Action You Can Take under Federal Law


(May 23, 2006) Sensitive personal information of 26.5 million veterans was stolen recently when the home of a VA employee was robbed. The individual had brought a computer and disk home containing names, Social Security numbers (SSNs), dates of birth, and other information of anyone who served in the military and has been discharged since 1976. The theft apparently occurred May 3, 2006.

Prohibit Debt Collectors from Calling Cell Phones: Comments to the FCC


The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse (PRC)1 appreciates the opportunity to comment, opposing ACA International's (ACA)2 Petition. The ACA asks the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) to exempt debt collectors from cell phone privacy rules adopted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).3 We urge the Commission to deny this Petition.

Tell the FCC to Stop Debt Collectors from Calling Your Cell Phone


Debt collectors want permission to call your cell phone. They want to use autodialers in order to reach as many numbers as possible.

The law currently protects consumers from such calls to cell phones, but the debt collectors want that to change.

The Tradeoff between Privacy and Openness in Employment Screening


We have heard from several individuals who have described their experiences with background checks that retrieve wrongful criminal records. Even after they have informed the employer that the background report is in error, they've learned that it's too late. The employer has moved on to another applicant, or perhaps is so risk-averse that the employer does not want the hassle of dealing with someone with a tarnished record, even though it's erroneous.

Keeping Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Private: Comments to the FCC


Consumers expect that their telephone calling records will remain private and unavailable to third parties without the customer's knowledge and authorization. Yet, it is clear that this expectation is unrealistic, evidenced by the findings in the Petition for Rulemaking submitted to the Commission by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC).3

EPIC's Petition as well as recent news reports, state and federal legislative proposals, and government lawsuits against data brokers all point to a disturbing situation: Not only are current safeguards for customer calling records inadequate, but those that exist are being blatantly ignored.

Tell the IRS that Allowing Tax Preparers to Sell Taxpayer Data to Marketers Is a Bad Idea


At tax time, like most people, you are concerned about the bottom line: Will I get a refund or will I have to pay? Privacy may never enter your mind, but perhaps it should. Under a new IRS proposal, among the papers you are asked to sign, could be a consent form that gives your tax preparer your okay to sell your entire tax return.

Comments Submitted to the Internal Revenue Service: Disclosure and Use of Tax Preparation Data Notice 2005-93 and REG-137243-02


At no time is one's expectation of privacy greater than with tax preparation. The proposed rules address privacy concerns in some important ways by requiring consumer consent where none was previously required. At the same time, the rules open the door for far more insidious privacy invasions by allowing tax return information to be used for marketing and shared by preparers with "any person."

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