FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning Child Quest International, Inc.--P974806
A Non-Profit Corporation Devoted to the Protection and Recovery of Missing, Abused and Exploited Children and At-Risk Adults
CHILD QUEST HAS ASSISTED IN THE
April 30, 1997
Federal Trade Commission
You will be called upon to decide whether to restrict access to information that is currently available to the public. As an investigator with Child Quest International, a non-profit organization that works daily with law enforcement and parents in the protection and recovery of MISSING CHILDREN, I know the critical value of having anonymous access to public records and personal information as a means to locate abductors and recover missing children.
Proposal of The Personal Information Privacy Act of 1997 is of great concern to me. This proposal must not pass! Private Investigators and non-profit missing childrens search agencies such as ours need access to personal information (driving records, social security numbers, unlisted addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, mother's maiden name, etc.) to continue recovering children and apprehending abductors.
Personal information is critical to my investigative staff, volunteer Private Investigators and volunteer Bounty Hunters who rely on it in their daily searches for abductors. These abductors have fled with a missing/endangered child and will neither give consent for access to such information, nor have a known location without it. Armed with driving records, SSNs, DOBs, telephone numbers and addresses investigators are able to work missing children's cases to the point of locating infants, toddlers, children and adolescents.
Personal and public information is key in tracking down abductors. Recently a trace of one abductors social security number led to his current location in Arizona and the recovery of a young boy. Had the abductor been informed of the trace he would have fled from authorities. In another case we received a sighting of a missing girl along with information of a specific car and its license plate number. The license plate was run which determined the vehicle's owner, the abductor. This quick and anonymous information gathering led to the immediate recovery of yet another missing child and the arrest of this abductor. Many abductors are non-custodial parents who have violated custody orders, while some are strangers to the child. Child Quest International, Private Investigators and Bounty Hunters have effectively located many abductors and missing children through public records, their former addresses, (un)listed telephone numbers, etc. These children have been brought home safely and the abductors have faced charges as a direct result of gathering and utilizing personal information. To date Child Quest International has located 2,013 missing children.
Accessibility of personal information and public records must be maintained for continued success in locating MISSING CHILDREN. Should this bill be passed it would be a tremendous disservice to all. For the above reasons and the well being of all missing children it is imperative that The Personal Information Privacy Act of 1997 be rejected.
KEEPING HOPE ALIVE!