ISPLA Update - New FCRA Staff Report
- FTC Issues Report: "Forty Years of Experience with the Fair Credit Reporting
The Federal Trade Commission has issued an important staff report that
compiles and updates the agency's guidance on the Fair Credit Reporting Act
(FCRA), the 1970 law designed to protect the privacy of credit report
information and ensure that the information supplied by credit reporting
agencies is as accurate as possible.
The new staff report, entitled "Forty Years of Experience with the Fair
Credit Reporting Act: An FTC Staff Report and Summary of Interpretations,"
provides an overview of the FTC's role in enforcing and interpreting the
FCRA and includes a section-by-section summary of the agency's
interpretations of the Act. Investigative and security professionals should
take time to gain some insight into this agency's viewpoints which can
greatly impact our profession.
The FTC is withdrawing the agency's 1990 Commentary on the FCRA, which is
now partially obsolete since it was issued 21 years ago. That 1990
Commentary was comprised of a series of FTC statements about how it would
enforce the various provisions of the FCRA. Since 1990, the FCRA has been
updated several times, most significantly by the Consumer Credit Reporting
Reform Act of 1996 and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of
2003, known as the FACT Act. Both updates expanded the FCRA's provisions.
The new staff report deletes several FTC interpretations in the 1990
Commentary that have since been repealed, amended, or have become obsolete
or outdated. It modifies some interpretations and adds several
interpretations reflecting changes that Congress has made to the FCRA over
the years, rules issued by the FTC and other agencies under the FACT Act,
statements in numerous staff opinion letters, and the staff's experience
from significant enforcement actions.
Recent legislation has transferred the authority to issue interpretive
guidance under the FCRA to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
Withdrawing the 1990 Commentary now will ensure that the obsolete document
does not transfer to the CFPB.
The Commission vote approving the staff report on the FCRA and withdrawing
the 1990 Commentary was 5-0. The 117-page report may be found at:
ISPLA Director of Government Affairs
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