The Federal Trade Commission today unveiled a "roadmap" on the Web that will show consumers how to protect their personal information from public access. This "one stop shop" for consumer privacy, found on the Commission's new "Privacy Information" page at www.ftc.gov explains how to protect personal information both online and offline.
According to the FTC, consumers are increasingly concerned about what happens to personal information collected by credit bureaus, direct marketers and government agencies. As a result, more and more organizations now offer consumers choices for protecting their information.
The Privacy Information page helps consumers voice their privacy preferences. The page gives consumers the information they need to contact credit bureaus, state motor vehicle offices and marketing organizations via the Internet, telephone or mail. Direct hyper-links to each of the three major credit reporting bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) opt-out pages are provided on the site.
In addition, sample opt-out letters are provided for consumers to tailor to their needs and send to the credit bureaus and the DMA requesting that their personal information not be sold or shared with third parties, or used for marketing purposes.
State departments of motor vehicles, which maintain personal information about consumers, can be contacted to find out how they handle personal information. The page sets out the directions.
The FTC recently surfed over 1,200 Web sites looking for privacy policies and personal information statements. The Commission will issue a report of its findings to Congress in June. Information about the agency's consumer privacy efforts can be found on the agency's World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov (no period).
Office of Public Affairs
Division of Credit Practices