FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning IAI Investigative Associates, Inc.--P974806
July 07, 1997
Chairman, Federal Trade Commission
Re: Support of Self Regulation
Dear Mr. Chairman:
In response to the Commissioner's request for additional comments following the hearing held on June 10, 1997, we as licensed private investigators are regular users of public and non-public records (such as credit headers) and support the proposition of self regulation. As a former Special Agent Federal Criminal Investigator and for the past 16 years an owner and manager of a highly respected investigative firm, we take this issue quite seriously. The data we regularly access and use in our reports to clients have a vital use and need in society. It is important that a flow of information be available to support our judicial system. It allows the public, who do not have the resources to manage some of the problems facing them, to defend their rights without looking to a governmental entity for help. As licensed investigators we are required to keep the information confidential and maintain a high degree of accuracy in our reporting procedures while maintaining a high ethical standard. Private investigators are professional investigators who have imposed on themselves high standards of conduct and ethics. Any violation of these standards should not be tolerated and should be dealt with on a individual basis but not to the point where every investigator is penalized for inappropriate acts by another. The same reasoning applies if a police officer misuses his or her trust by wrongfully discharging a weapon. You would not take all weapons away from all police officers. You would deal with that officer for his or her actions based solely on that particular incident without preventing the other police officers from doing their job.
This industry must have the opportunity to self regulate itself and certainly welcomes government intervention in enforcing these rules. We ask that you support self regulation and work with the industry to successfully bring about policy and procedures that we can all live and abide by in these regards. Thank you.