FTC: Consumer Privacy Comments Concerning Arbiter Investigation--P974806
July 8, 1997
Mr. Robert Pitofsky, Chairman
Dear Mr. Chairman:
This is in response to the Commission's request for additional comments following the hearings held June 10, 1997.
As a Texas licensed private investigations firm, I am a regular user of public records and non-public data. The data we regularly access, and include in reports to clients, has a profound beneficial use in our society. It allows the public to defend itself without looking to government for help. Stringent Federal regulation would create restrictive barriers for private investigators in their pursuit of preventing fraud, bringing families together, plus saying human life and property.
Under State Law, we are required to keep the information confidential. We must also maintain a high degree of accuracy in reporting due to potential litigation and scrutiny by the courts. To allow the subject of our investigations to browse through sensitive investigative data would sound a death knell throughout our industry.
Privacy protection can be managed through our industry's desire to self regulate. The industry should be given the opportunity for self regulation via State statutes addressing confidentiality, licensure, bonding, liability insurance, competitive marketing, and professionalism,
I ask that you support self regulation and work with the private investigation industry to successfully bring about policies addressing this most important privacy matter.
Rex T. Sherry
cc:Congressman Lloyd Doggett
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