April 2003: PRC's Privacy Update Newsletter

In this issue . . .

[1] HIPAA Basics: The Federal Privacy Rule, effective April 14, 2003
The PRC’s Q and A fact sheet is now available on our website – a comprehensive guide to the high-points and low-points of HIPAA.

[2] California & National Do Not Call Lists for Telemarketing
How to register for the Do Not Call Registry.

[3] “Uniting Privacy & the First Amendment in the 21st Century” Conference: May 9 Oakland, CA
Sponsored by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), Calif. Office of Privacy Protection, & the First Amendment Projec

Scare Away Scammers

Most people are aware of the dangers posed by scams that claim to be originating from a business.  But what if you receive an e-mail, phone call, or letter claiming to come from a government agency?  Many consumers are likely to assume that such communications are legitimate because they appear to come from the government.

Unfortunately, these types of scams do occur.  Communications may claim to be from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, Medicare, your local Commissioner of Jurors, or other government agencies.  Learn about some of the recents scams and what you should do to avoid becoming a victim.

IRS Information Returns: An Identity Thief's Dream?

At this time of the year, you can expect to receive in your mail at least some IRS information returns that will contain your full Social Security number.  Your Social Security number is the key to identity theft.  For this reason, an information return (like a W-2) can be an identity thief’s dream come true.  In fact, some information returns may contain not only your full Social Security number, but your bank or other financial institution account number(s)—the perfect combination for identity theft.  Read our suggestions on what you can do to protect yourself.

Resolve to Be a Privacy Advocate in 2010

We at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wish you a happy, prosperous and private new year.  This year, resolve to be a privacy advocate.  Use our 10 tips to minimize your risk of identity theft, protect your personal information and assert your rights to privacy. 

Our guide for 2010 will teach you how to be assertive in defending your privacy, find out how much of your personal information is stored in consumer reports and exercise caution while using online social networks.

Welcome to Our New Website!

Privacy Rights Clearinghouse is pleased to welcome you to our re-designed website.  Our new site incorporates user-oriented features that make it easier for visitors to quickly find and share information.  We’ve also updated our widely popular privacy compilations, including our Online Information Brokers List and our nationally-recognized Chronology of Data Breaches

Using the open source software Drupal, our new site allows PRC's privacy advocates to update the site more frequently - without compromising the privacy of our visitors.

Holiday Shopping? Ten Timely Tips

During the holiday season, you may be shopping more frequently and under more crowded and frantic conditions.   Follow these tips to help avoid scams and rip-offs.   Be a privacy-smart consumer!  Wherever you happen to shop this holiday season--the mall, online, or on Main Street--following these tips will help you have a safer and more private holiday season.

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