New Tool to Report Privacy Violations
Jackie here. In a connected world, keeping information private can be difficult. All too often, companies share or sell consumer information without their permission or knowledge. When it happens to you, you are now able to do something about it. The FTC has a new complaint tool that you can use to report privacy violations.
What Types of Violations Can I Report?
This tool is perfect for reporting specific instances when your information was shared without permission. For example, if you start getting targeted advertising in the mail (like ads for maternity clothes or formula samples when you are pregnant and haven’t signed up for them, etc.) and know what company gave up your information. Any time your personal information is shared in a manner that you didn’t expect or didn’t give permission for (and you know where the problem originated), you can report it. This tool isn’t for reporting ID theft, just privacy violations.
How Do I Report Privacy Violations?
If you see a privacy violation, report it using the FTC’s Complaint Assistant. You’ll see an alert near the top of the page that says, “Concerned about how a company is handling your personal information? Click here to report privacy concerns.” Click and fill out the form on the next page.
You’ll be asked for the company’s name, address, email address, phone number, website, etc., so have this information handy. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the information requested. The FTC says,
“Not all fields may apply to your complaint.” You can skip fields if needed.
After you fill in information about the company, you’ll be asked to provide your information and comments on your reason for reporting a company. Be specific. The FTC wants to know why you have a complaint, not just with whom.
Speaking up is a great first step in letting companies and the FTC know how you want your information shared. If you find your privacy has been violated, report it.