FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning Bayview Investigations--P974806
June 25, 1997
Secretary, Federal Trade Commission
In Re: Support of the self regulation by the Information Industry and Private Investigation Industry
Dear Mr. Secretary:
In response to the commission's request for additional comments regarding the hearing held on June 10, 1997, I, as a licensed private investigator, am a routine user of public and non-public records such as credit headers (not credit reports.) I support the proposition of self regulation by the information industry.
The data that we regularly access and use in our reports to clients has a beneficial use and a need in society. It is important that the free flow of information be available to licensed agencies such as mine, to support commerce and our judicial system. It allows the public, who does not have the resources to manage all of the problems that they are faced with to defend itself.
We use this type of information to investigate business theft, identify stalkers, insurance fraud, real-estate fraud and other types of crimes that have an economic impact on all people. Local and Federal law enforcement is overwhelmed by the tasks placed upon them. We are able to assist the general public by helping to stop fraud and wrong doing by others who prey upon the American public. Without access to this type of information by our industry, the general public would have no recourse against the perpetrators of fraud. In addition, we are required to keep this information confidential and maintain a high degree of accuracy in our reports.
Privacy protection can be managed through our industry's self regulation of uses and distribution. Our industry has stated a willingness and desire to self regulate. The private investigation and information industry requests that the opportunity to self regulate be granted and welcomes the government's help in enforcing the rules through our industry's efforts.
I ask that you support self regulation and work with the industry to successfully bring about policies and procedures that we can live with in a free society.