Tag Archives: FTC

Federal Trade Commission to Study Collection and Use of Consumer Information by Data Brokers

In an effort to study privacy practices in the data broker industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted 5-0 to issue orders requiring nine data brokers – companies that collect, analyze, and sell personal information of consumers – to reveal how they gather and use data about consumers, according to an FTC news release available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/databrokers.shtm. Continue reading

Government Increases Action Against Consumer Reporting Agencies Using Background Checks in Violation of FCRA

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently submitted written testimony to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights summarizing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requirements that relate to the use of consumer reports in employment in protecting the rights of job applicants and employees under the FCRA, according to a news release available at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/12/fcra.shtm.  The FTC testimony on the FCRA – which promotes the accuracy, fairness, and privacy of information from Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRAs) – is an example of the trend of the government increasing action against CRAs violating the law. This is Trend Number 9 of the 6th Annual ‘ESR Top Ten Background Check Trends for 2013’ available at http://www.esrcheck.com/Top-Ten-Background-Check-Trends-for-2013.php. Continue reading

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces New Corrected Forms Required by FCRA for Background Checks Starting January 1 2013

In November 2012, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced in the Federal Register corrections to typographical and technical errors in the earlier versions of three new essential CFPB forms required by the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) in the background screening process starting January 1, 2013. These forms include ‘A Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act,’ ‘NOTICE TO USERS OF CONSUMER REPORTS: OBLIGATIONS OF USERS UNDER THE FCRA,’ and ‘NOTICE TO FURNISHERS OF INFORMATION: OBLIGATIONS OF FURNISHERS UNDER THE FCRA.’  The CFPB announcement is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2012/11/14/2012-27581/fair-credit-reporting-regulation-v-correction. Continue reading

Statistical Analysis of Online Ads for Internet Data Broker Website Uncovers Possible Racial Profiling

A Harvard University professor who ran a statistical analysis of online ads used by an Internet data broker website that suggested certain names may have arrest records uncovered what she described as possible racial profiling when she found the company’s advertising “disproportionately” used the word “arrested” for black-identifying names even when a person had no arrest record, according to the Huffington Post. The story is available at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/25/racial-profiling-online-ads_n_2186409.html. Continue reading

Holiday Season Identity Theft Rising So Shoppers Need to Protect Their Identities from ID Thieves

With the arrival of ‘Black Friday’ and Cyber Monday,’ the first Friday and Monday after Thanksgiving, shoppers are ready for the official kickoff to the 2012 holiday shopping season. With research showing identity theft on the rise with help from social media and smart phones, shoppers need to protect their identities more than ever. For suggestions from The Hanover Insurance Group on how holiday shoppers can avoid identity theft, visit http://www.snl.com/irweblinkx/file.aspx?IID=103541&FID=15353223. Continue reading

Background Check Firms Under Greater Scrutiny In Wake of 2.6 Million Dollar Penalty for Alleged FCRA Violations

A recent featured article on Workforce.com – ‘Background Screening Firms Face Increased Scrutiny’ – tells how background check firms are being watched more closely in the wake of a $2.6 million civil penalty against a leading screening firm by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The article also reveals background check experts such as Attorney Lester Rosen, Founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR), are suggesting employers should be more diligent in hiring screening firms and should “screen the screeners.” The Workforce article is available at: http://www.workforce.com/article/20120928/NEWS02/120929949/background-screening-firms-face-increased-scrutiny.

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FTC Offers Child Identity Theft Prevention Tips for Parents to Protect Personal Information of Kids at School

Just in time for the beginning of a new school year, which usually requires parents to fill out paperwork such as registration forms and emergency contact information, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers child identity theft prevention tips in the blog ‘Protecting Your Child’s Personal Information at School’ to let parents know that many school forms containing the personal and sensitive information of their children could be used to commit fraud in their child’s name if the information falls into the wrong hands. To read the blog, visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/protecting-your-childs-personal-information-school. Continue reading

Background Screening Company to Pay 2.6 Million Dollar Penalty to Settle FTC Charges of Multiple FCRA Violations

In a case representing the first time the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has charged a background screening company that delivers reports to employers with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a leading background screening firm, also known as a consumer reporting agency (“CRA”), has agreed to pay a $2.6 million penalty to settle charges that it violated the FCRA multiple times. A press release from the FTC about the settlement is available at: http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/hireright.shtm. Continue reading

Medical Identity Theft Victimizes Estimated 2 Million Americans Each Year at Cost of 41 Billion Dollars

According to results from Experian’s ProtectMyID® ‘Third Annual National Study on Medical Identity Theft’ conducted by the Ponemon Institute® and released in June 2012, medical identity theft victimizes an estimated two million Americans each year with an estimated total cost of approximately $41 billion. For more information about the study, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/more-people-aware-of-medical-identity-theft-but-do-little-to-protect-themselves-from-it-160349435.html. Continue reading

FTC Fines Data Broker Spokeo 800000 Dollars to Settle Charges of Violating Fair Credit Reporting Act

In the first Federal Trade Commission (FTC) case to address the sale of Internet and social media data in the employment screening context, Spokeo, Inc. – a data broker that compiles and sells detailed information profiles on millions of consumers – has agreed to pay a $800,000 fine to settle FTC charges that the company marketed profiles to companies in the human resources, background screening, and recruiting industries without taking steps to protect consumers required under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), according to a press release at http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2012/06/spokeo.shtm. Continue reading