NEGATIVE CONSUMER/INTERNET SIGNIFICANCE 405
CREDIT REPORTING LAWS PROTECT PRIVACY
CONGRESS MODIFIED THE CONSUMER CREDIT REPORTING REFORM ACT WHICH LEAD TO AN INCREASE PRIVACY
Fred H. Cate, Brookings Institution, 1997; PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, EE2001 -mfp p. 82
On September 30, 1996, Congress passed the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act, which closed many of these loopholes and strengthened significantly the protection for information privacy provided by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. For example, the Reform Act narrowed the broad "legitimate business need" purpose for which credit reports could be disseminated to permit the distribution of credit reports only for a "legitimate business need" in connection with a "business transaction that is initiated by the consumer" or "to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account." Consumer credit reports may now be furnished for employment purposes only if the employer certifies that the employee has consented in writing.", Medical information may no longer be included in a credit report furnished in connection with employment, credit, insurance, or direct marketing, without the consent of the consumer. If a credit reporting agency furnishes consumer credit information to be used for marketing credit or insurance opportunities to consumers, the agency must establish and publish a toll-free telephone number that consumers can call to have their names removed from lists provided for such direct marketing purposes. Persons who acquire such information from credit reporting agencies for marketing credit and insurance services must inform consum e rs that credit information was used, identify the credit agency from which the data were obtained, and provide information about consumers' legal rights.
GOVERNMENT PROTECTS PERSONAL INFORMATION REGARDING FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
Fred H. Cate, Brookings Institution, 1997; PRIVACY IN THE INFORMATION AGE, EE2001 -mfp p. 81
Congress has enacted a variety of laws addressing the protection of personal information in the context of financial transactions, such as those involved in banking, consumer credit, and mortgage financing. The first of those laws, the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, "sets forth rights for individuals and responsibilities for consumer credit reporting agencies in connection with the preparation and dissemination of personal information in a consumer report bearing on the individual's creditworthiness, credit standing, credit capacity, character, general reputation, personal characteristics or mode of living." The act requires that credit reporting agencies follow "reasonable procedures to assure maximum possible accuracy" of the information in their credit reports and implement a dispute resolution process to investigate and correct errors. Agencies must also inform consumers about whom adverse decisions on credit, employment, or insurance are made, based on a consumer report, of the use and source of the report, The agencies must provide consumers with a copy of their reports upon request.