|The Commission is headed by five Commissioners, nominated by the President and
confirmed by the Senate, each serving a seven-year term. The President chooses
one Commissioner to act as Chairman. No more than three Commissioners can be of
the same political party.
An anonymous email containing false
and misleading information about the use of your personal
information is showing up in email in-boxes across the country,
leaving many consumers concerned and confused.
Here's what the bogus email says:
"Just wanted to let everyone
know who hasn't already heard, the four major credit bureaus in the
U.S. will be allowed, starting July 1, to release your credit info,
mailing addresses, phone numbers... to anyone who requests it. If
you would like to "opt out" of this release of info., you
can call 1-888-567-8688. It only takes a couple of minutes to
Here's the real deal from the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency that enforces the
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).
The July 1 deadline relates to the
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB), which set July 1, 2001 as the deadline
for financial institutions to give you notice of their privacy
policies and a way for you to opt-out of some of their
information-sharing practices. You may recall getting mailings or
statement inserts recently from your financial institutions,
creditors, insurance companies and brokerage firms about this. The
July 1 date is not a deadline for consumers to do anything. In fact,
consumers can contact their financial institutions anytime to
opt-out under GLB.
Credit bureaus can release your
credit information only to people with a legitimate business need,
as recognized by the FCRA. For example, a company is allowed to get
your report if you apply for credit, insurance, employment, or to
rent an apartment.
In addition to the uses described
above, lenders and insurers may use information in your credit file
as a basis for sending you unsolicited offers of credit or
insurance. This is known as "prescreening." However, you
have a right to opt out of these offers. The toll-free number -
1-888-567-8688 - is the "opt-out" line for the major
credit bureaus for "prescreened" offers only.
To learn more about your privacy
rights under the FCRA and GLB, contact the FTC.
|The FTC works for the consumer to
prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the
marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop
and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on
any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP
(1-877-382-4357), or use the online complaint form. The FTC enters
Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related
complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database
available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies
U.S. and abroad.