Here are some
important tips on where your information goes when you notify the FTC, for shoppers and
What Does the FTC Do with Your Personal Information?
Federal law requires us to tell you how we collect, use, share, and protect your personal information. Federal law also limits how we can use your personal information. Protecting the privacy and security of consumers' personal information is very important to us. Please read this notice carefully to understand what we do with the personal information we collect both online and offline.
When you contact us to help you with a problem, any personal information you provide is voluntary. We collect and use only the minimum information necessary to respond to your concerns and conduct investigations. In most cases, we collect limited personal information, such as name, address, telephone number, or email address. In limited cases, depending on the nature of your request or of our law enforcement investigations, we also may collect other personal information such as Social Security numbers, account numbers, or mortgage or health information.hen do we collect personal information?
When Do We Collect Personal Information?
When you contact us...
to order publications, obtain redress, or register for the National Do Not Call Registry.
to file a complaint or seek help for possible consumer fraud or identity theft.
to file a public comment or participate in a rulemaking or a workshop.
When we contact you...
to ask if you will participate in a consumer survey.
to provide information in response to a subpoena or other legal process.
When we contact others...
to collect information about potential victims when we investigate possible law violations.
Where Does Your Information Go?
Within the FTC...
we contact consumers to further our law enforcement investigations.
our contractors use your information when they perform certain services, such as operating the National Do Not Call Registry or our Consumer Response Center, processing redress claims, or fulfilling your order for publications.
To other government agencies (federal, state, local, international)...
we work with our partners to investigate complaints, coordinate law enforcement investigations, cooperate with oversight investigations, or follow up on ID theft reports.
To others outside government...
we post public comments and transcripts, including names, state of residence, and other non-confidential information, on the FTC website in a rulemaking, workshop, blog, or other public FTC proceeding.
we provide information to credit bureaus for complaints about consumer fraud, ID theft, or credit reports.
we provide only your phone number to telemarketers to enforce the National Do Not Call Registry.
we provide information to businesses or individuals in response to court orders, subpoenas, or Freedom of Information Act requests, or to resolve complaints.
How does the FTC use the
information I provide?
We enter the information you send into our electronic database -
the Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a system
of records covered under the Privacy Act of 1974. In general, the
Privacy Act prohibits unauthorized disclosures of the records it
protects. It also gives individuals the right to review records
about themselves. Learn more about your Privacy Act rights and the
FTC's Privacy Act procedures by contacting the FTC's Freedom of
Information Act Office: 202-326-2430;
The information you
submit is shared with our attorneys and investigators. It also may
be shared with various other law enforcement authorities. We also
may share information with certain private entities, such as credit
bureaus and any companies you may have complained about, where we
believe that doing so might assist in resolving identity
theft-related problems. You may be contacted by the FTC or any of
the agencies or private entities to whom your complaint has been
referred. In other limited circumstances, including requests from
Congress, we may be required by law to disclose information you
We also aggregate the
information you provide us with the information from other
complaints and make the data available in statistical reports. See
Statistics. Policy-makers, the media and businesses use these
reports to focus attention on particular problems and to devise
remedies to those problems.
The FTC works for the
consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business
practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help
consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a
complaint or to get
free information on
consumer issues, visit
www.ftc.gov or call
toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. The
FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other
fraud-related complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
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The InfoFAQ editorial staff are qualified professionals who are experienced at researching the Internet for relevant information about merchants, their products, their services, and their industries. The staff is trained to be objective, concise, and informative, helping consumers understand the importance of merchant compliance, consumer safety, privacy, security, fraud protection, and truthful information when shopping on the Internet.