don malone & associates, inc.
2401 Fountainview Drive, Suite 520
March 31, 2000
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to express my exasperated concern with the proposed regulations to implement Title V of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. As a licensed private investigator in the State of Texas and a business owner, I fear we would lose a very necessary and valuable source of locating witnesses and suspects if "non-public personal information" is defined to include simple names and addresses of customers of financial institutions.
It was my impression that the clear intent of Congress was to provide an opportunity for customers of financial institutions to "opt-out" of sharing their personal financial information with non-affiliates of the institutions. The statute provides protection for financial information.not mere names and addresses. If all information available to a financial institution is defined as "non-public personal information," then what is "public"? Congress seemed to be offering a distinction by describing financial information. I believe the Act provides opt-out of information regarding credit history, employment and financial assets. However, name, address, and telephone number should not be classified as "non-public."
Private investigators play an important role in our civil and criminal justice systems, which is not understood by many. We are authorized by courts to serve process by the District Courts of Harris County Civil Trial Division, licensed by the State of Texas to investigate, and held to a higher standard of moral integrity and operation by federal and state laws.
The following paragraphs exerted from Vernon's Civil Statutes Art. 4413(29bb). Private Security Act, SUBCHAPTER A. GENERAL PROVISIONS details that any person who:
The information we obtain regarding addresses and telephone numbers is essential to our conduct of business and fulfilling our obligations to consumers. We utilize this information to investigate embezzlement, insurance fraud, locate delinquent child support debtors, acts of wrongdoing, as well as serve process, and locate witness for civil and criminal proceeding. Criminals, Stalkers, and fraud artists seldom reside where their driver license or vehicles are registered, so current address information is essential. The law enforcement community does not have the manpower to develop most of these cases for prosecution. The largest percentage of users of private investigator services is federal and state governments, attorneys, and businesses.
Please recall the savings and loan failures of the 1980s as an example of why access to this information is vital. The FDIC contracted with 100's of private investigators to track down assets and individuals involved in those losses and recovery.
If this information is deemed "non-public personal information" only wrongdoers and criminals will benefit and the law-abiding consumer will be the loser. In changing times and circumstances, making new laws are necessary. However, punishing or restricting everyone is not the answer. I urge you to define non-public personal information in the manner that Congress intended.
With best regards, I am,
Very truly yours,
This communication is intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is privileged and confidential and exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If the reader of this communication is not the intended recipient or an employee or agent responsible for delivering the communication to that intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. (Call: 713-914-9299 or 1-888-914-9299, outside of the 713 area code.)