Sharing Your Personal Information: It's Your Choice
It's important to find out what happens to the personal information you provide to companies, marketers, and government agencies. These organizations may use your information simply to process your order; they may use it to tell you about products, services, or promotions; or they may share your information with others. More organizations are offering people choices about how their personal information is used. For example, many let you "opt-out" of having your information shared with others or used for promotional purposes.
Learn more about the choices you have to protect your personal information by contacting the following organizations.
The FTC publishes a free brochure, Unsolicited Mail, Telemarketing and Email: Where to Go to "Just Say No," that provides information on how you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings, calls and emails you receive by learning where to go to "just say no."
The three major credit bureaus may have different requirements on how to opt-out. You can write your own letter or use our Sample Opt-Out Letter to request that your personal information not be shared with others or used for promotional purposes.
The national credit bureaus offer a toll-free number that enables consumers to opt-out of all pre-approved credit offers with just one phone call. Call 1-888-5-OPTOUT (1-888-567-8688) for more information.
Visit the web site or phone each bureau for their most up-to-date information.
P.O. Box 740123
Atlanta, GA 30374-0123
901 West Bond
Lincoln, NE 68521
Attn: Consumer Services Department
Name Removal Option
P.O. Box 505
Woodlyn, PA 19094
The FTC publishes free brochures on credit-related issues, as well as a variety of other topics to help you avoid rip-offs and exercise your consumer rights, and to help businesses comply with the law.
State departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) maintain a lot of personal information about you. (Just look at your driver’s license, for example.) The Drivers Protection Act gives you privacy rights with regard to information maintained by DMVs. The law lists the ways this information can be used — a DMV may distribute personal information for things like law enforcement, driver safety, insurance underwriting, etc.
A recent amendment to the law now prohibits a DMV from distributing your personal information for other types of uses, including for direct marketing, unless you give them permission.
Contact the DMV in your state for more information.
The Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) Mail Preference Service lets you opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years. When you register with this service (for a $1 fee), your name will be put on a “delete” file and made available to direct-mail marketers. However, your registration will not stop mailings from organizations that do not use the DMA’s Mail Preference Service. To register with DMA’s Mail Preference Service, go to www.dmachoice.org.
The FTC publishes a free brochure on Shopping by Phone or Mail. For a list of publications, visit www.bulkorder.ftc.gov; write to Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC 20580; or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), TDD (202) 326-2502.