Epic Poem: Financial Data Privacy & the Quest for Justice

The complaints and proposed settlements were filed in U.S. District Courts in Illinois, Georgia, and Texas earlier today by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC. The Commission vote to refer the matters to DOJ for filing was 4–0, with Commissioner Sheila F. Anthony recused.

“Black box databases.”

“Sharing information with affiliates is simply not fair, because consumers have no access, knowledge of, or control over the use of their information…Consumers should have the right to look at their file and to dispute the file…”

“These large banks are using consumer information to create unregulated databases. It could be used to redline people — and they wouldn’t even know about it…”

‘“The fact of the matter is, we don’t know exactly what such companies are doing. This is a very murky area,” Hendricks says. He says the Citigroup testimony was the first time that the sharing of “insider scores” with affiliates was acknowledged by the industry. Hendricks calls it an aggressive use of personal information that does not comport with fair information practices. “If people don’t have access [to their information], that’s going to breed inaccuracies.”’

Taken from: Privacy Law in 60 Seconds

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACT Act) amended the FCRA in numerous respects. It is designed to prevent identity theft and to allow consumers greater access to their consumer files than initially provided by the FCRA.

The FACT Act also sets new standards about what can be included in a consumer report and modifies, in part, the process by which consumer disputes are handled.

“The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

“Fraud is a huge opportunity for us; it is a massive growing business for us.” — Mr. Richard Smith

“We don’t feel that credit-monitoring services are worth it,”

And if you really want protection, says Stephens, the best thing you can do is limit access to your credit report with a security freeze.

A 2015 data breach at the health-insurance company Anthem exposed the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of 80 million people. A class-action lawsuit was settled this summer, awarding up to $50 to each person who was affected. Last year, 4.2 billion personal records were stolen. If someone wants your data, it’s probably already out there.

The vast majority of identity theft victims — 86% in 2014 — have problems with a current account, such as a credit card of bank account, according to BJS data (Bureau of Justice Statistics). Freezing your credit won’t prevent that type of crime.

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