Data Protection And The Importance of Keeping It Safe

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commis...

Seal of the United States Federal Trade Commission. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

United Kingdom: stamp
United Kingdom: stamp (Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

This story intrigued me as it is very close to my heart on protecting information supplied by my clients! After 25 years plus l now have a Consumer Credit Licence with no renewal date, as l have had one so long.

Anyway getting to the reason for the post and the fact that any data given to me, is given in the strictest confidence. Then it is up to me, like a doctor, not to disclose this to anyone! Well for far too long many companies have come a  “Cold Calling” at the door by phone, email and the text message ,asking with out any ones permission pertinent questions, that l call impertinent questions.

Firstly we do not know who they are and where they got our name and basic details of our life, but they ask first for our name, this is when you say” l do not given out this type of information under the “Data Protection Act” then they ignore what l have said and say well this is just a short-survey and will take just 5 minutes, of your time and we can “Save You Money”, how l wonder! As to save me money, they first have to get me to answer their short-survey!

By me answering their questions l implicitly agree under the  “Data Protection Acts” disclosure rule, if l do not agree, that should end the conversation. Then as l have not complied with their request in writing and they have not equally requested information in writing, prior to their call, again this should end the conversation! As in both cases they are not then entitled to ask for anymore information, as you have been neither implicit or complicit! Though in so many cases they will take your silence to mean you agree!

It is then armed with their so-called idea of me agreeing, that they ask the first question!  Then l say and l suggest you say the same ” I Do Not Answer Questions” over the phone, as l do not know who you are!

It is then they revert back to “We Can Save You Money” ! Nowadays they are persistent as they are on a “Commission Based” earner and press the case, it is then l say NO again! They retort with “So You Do not Want To Save Money” then a pregnant pause and l answer I did not ask you to ring me and please take NO for an answer!!

I am told by my clients that at this point, they cave in and end up in debt and thus l have to get them out of a contract, be it power companies, finance houses and credit card and loan companies!

But please harken to these words “Any information” you give them over the phone, should be agreed in writing first, as you have to invite them into your home or life! Anything you tell them will be use in evidence against you ,to sell you what you so often do not want and this information will be kept, on a computer, file or as in this case discarded!

It is up to me as a professional in debt management services to protect your information and shred, return or discard of it correctly. And not too, as so many companies are doing, consider it is just for commission or profit purposes! With some dumping your data anywhere or everywhere or selling it to the highest bidder!

Extract: Please take time if you have it to read article as so many of these companies never get caught, its your “Data” not theirs and if you ever have a problem contact me!

A company that provides management services to more than 300 payday loan and check cashing stores, and an affiliated company that owns and operates several stores, will pay $101,500 to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they violated federal law by allowing sensitive consumer information to be tossed into trash dumpsters.

The FTC charged that PLS Financial Services, Inc., and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, Inc., failed to take reasonable measures to protect consumer information, resulting in the disposal of documents containing sensitive personal identifying information – including Social Security numbers, employment information, loan applications, bank account information, and credit reports – in unsecured dumpsters near several PLS Loan Stores or PLS Check Cashers locations.  PLS Group, Inc., which owns PLS Financial Services and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, was also named in the complaint.

According to the complaint filed by the FTC, PLS Financial Services and The Payday Loan Store of Illinois violated the FTC’s Disposal Rule by failing to take reasonable steps to protect against unauthorized access to consumer information in the disposal of credit reports.  They also allegedly violated the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule and Privacy Rule, which require financial institutions to develop and use safeguards to protect consumer information, and deliver privacy notices to consumers.  Further, the FTC charged that all three defendants violated the FTC Act by misrepresenting that they had implemented reasonable measures to protect sensitive consumer information.

This is the third time the FTC has charged a violation of the Disposal Rule, which requires that companies dispose of credit reports and information derived from them in a safe and secure manner.

According to the FTC complaint, PLS Group owns approximately two dozen operating companies, such as The Payday Loan Store of Illinois, that in turn own and operate more than 300 retail stores in nine states under the names PLS Loan Stores and PLS Check Cashers.  These stores offer a variety of products and services, including payday loans, check cashing, automobile title loans, debit cards, phone cards, and notary services.  PLS Financial Services provides management services to the PLS Loan Stores and PLS Check Cashers locations, including establishing their policies and procedures for the handling and disposal of consumer financial information.

In addition to the $101,500 civil penalty imposed on PLS Financial Services and the Payday Loan Store of Illinois for violation of the Disposal Rule, the settlement bars all the companies from violating the Disposal, Safeguards and Privacy Rules and from misrepresenting the extent to which they maintain and protect the privacy and integrity of personal information.  The order also requires that the companies carry out and maintain a data security program with independent third-party audits every other year for the next 20 years.  It also contains certain bookkeeping and record keeping provisions to allow the Commission to monitor compliance with its order.

The Commission vote to approve the proposed consent decree was 5-0.  The Department of Justice filed the proposed consent decree on behalf of the Commission in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  It was signed by the judge and entered by the court on November 1, 2012.

NOTE:  This consent judgment is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated.  Consent judgments have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Courtesy of the FTC to read article just click this link “Companies Dump Data” or email me at leave-your-views@yopmail.com alternatively you can visit my brand new group at Adam Christian Debt Management Services  if you a have debt or just need help and guidance.

KEEP YOUR DATA SAFE AND DO NOT DISCLOSE IT TO ANYONE UNLESS YOU KNOW WHO THEY ARE FIRST.

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