FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning Cascade Pacific Detective Agency--P974806
June 21, 1997
Secretary, Federal Trade Commission
Re:Support of Self Regulation by Information
In response to the commission's request for additional comments regarding the hearing held June 10, I support the proposition of self regulation by the information industry. I am a state licensed Private Detective and a routine user of both public and non-public records including credit headers.
The data that we regularly access and use in our reports is beneficial and fulfills a need in society. It is important that the free flow of information be available to support commerce and our judicial system. It also allows the public, who do not have the resources to manage all of the problems they face, to defend themselves without looking to the government for help. We use this information to investigate business losses, stalking, insurance fraud, real estate fraud and other crimes that have an economic impact on our daily lives. Local and federal law enforcement are overwhelmed by the tasks placed upon them. We are able to assist the general public by helping stop fraud and wrongdoing by those who prey upon the American public. If we did not have access to this type of information the general public would have no recourse against the perpetrators of frauds.
We are legally required to keep the information confidential and to maintain a high degree of accuracy in our reports. Market pressures are also an important influence, we would not serve our customers well or keep them for long if we acted otherwise. The prevention of wrongdoing and fraud are the real tests of this data.
Our industries have demonstrated a desire and a willingness to self regulate. I urge you to support self regulation and work with the industry to create policies and procedures that allow us to function effectively while protecting the confidentiality of the information we acquire in the normal course of business.
William H. North
William H. North