FTC SEEKS COMMENTS ON PROPOSED IDENTITY THEFT AND ACTIVE DUTY REGULATIONS
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued proposed rules under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), which amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), regarding (i) further definition of the terms “identity theft” and “identity theft report,” (ii) the duration of active duty alerts and (iii) the appropriate proof of identity needed by consumers to block fraudulent trade lines in their consumer reports, place or remove fraud or active duty alerts or obtain a file disclosure containing a truncated social security number under certain circumstances.
First, the FTC proposes that “identity theft” be defined as a fraud committed or attempted using a person’s identifying information without lawful authority. The FTC also proposes to add two elements to the definition of “identity theft report”: (i) requiring that consumers allege the identity theft as specifically as possible and (ii) allowing credit bureaus or creditors to request, within reasonable bounds, additional information or documentation to help them determine if identity theft actually occurred.
Second, the FTC proposes setting a minimum duration of 12 months for active duty alerts for military personnel. Finally, addressing what constitutes “appropriate proof of identity,” the proposed rule would require credit bureaus to develop “reasonable requirements” to ensure that consumers are matched with their files and to adjust what information is requested to prevent identifiable risks of harm.
The FTC invites public comments on the proposed rules on or before June 15, 2004.