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FTC Charges Data Broker with Theft

The Federal Trade Commission has brought a complaint against LeapLab, a commercial data broker. According to the complaint, LeapLab bought the payday loan applications of “financially strapped consumers,” and then sold the consumer information to marketers. At least one marketing company that purchased consumer information from LeapLab used that information to steal millions of dollars from consumers’ bank accounts. “This case shows that the illegitimate use of sensitive financial information causes real harm to consumers,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. In 2005, EPIC testified before the the House Commerce Committee on "Identity Theft and Data Broker Services" and Urged Congress to establish comprehensive regulation of the data broker industry following the disclosure that Choicepoint was selling personal information to criminals engaged in identity theft. Further, EPIC's complaint to the FTC against Choicepoint lead to a $10 million settlement. For more information, see EPIC: Choicepoint, EPIC: Privacy and Consumer Profiling, and EPIC: FTC.

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