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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The information collection requirements described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”). The FTC seeks public comments on its proposal to extend through December 31, 2013 the current OMB clearance for information collection requirements contained in its Prescreen Opt-Out Disclosure Rule. That clearance expires on December 31, 2010.

DATES:

Comments must be filed by August 30, 2010.

ADDRESSES:

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the Request for Comments part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Comments in electronic form should be submitted by using the following weblink: (https://public.commentworks.com/​ftc/​prescreenoptoutPRA) (and following the instructions on the web-based form). Comments filed in paper form should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Start Printed Page 37437Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex J), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, in the manner detailed in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be addressed to Katherine Armstrong, Attorney, Division of Privacy and Identity Protction, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-3250.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Request for Comments

Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. Comments should refer to “Prescreen Opt-Out Disclosure Rule: FTC File No. P075417” to facilitate the organization of comments. Please note that your comment - including your name and your state - will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including on the publicly accessible FTC website, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm).

Because comments will be made public, they should not include any sensitive personal information, such as any individual’s Social Security Number; date of birth; driver’s license number or other state identification number, or foreign country equivalent; passport number; financial account number; or credit or debit card number. Comments also should not include any sensitive health information, such as medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, comments should not include “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is obtained from any person and which is privileged or confidential” as provided in Section 6(f) of the Federal Trade Commission Act (“FTC Act”), 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). Comments containing matter for which confidential treatment is requested must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with FTC Rule 4.9(c).[1]

Because paper mail addressed to the FTC is subject to delay due to heightened security screening, please consider submitting your comments in electronic form. Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted using the following weblink

https://public.commentworks.com/​ftc/​prescreenoptoutPRA (and following the instructions on the web-based form). To ensure that the Commission considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form at the weblink (https://public.commentworks.com/​ftc/​prescreenoptoutPRA).

If this Notice appears at (www.regulations.gov/​search/​index.jsp), you may also file an electronic comment through that website. The Commission will consider all comments that regulations.gov forwards to it.

The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives, whether filed in paper or electronic form. Comments received will be available to the public on the FTC website, to the extent practicable, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​os/​publiccomments.shtm). As a matter of discretion, the FTC makes every effort to remove home contact information for individuals from the public comments it receives before placing those comments on the FTC website. More information, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, may be found in the FTC’s privacy policy, at (http://www.ftc.gov/​ftc/​privacy.shtm).

Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. “Collection of information” means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). As required by section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, the FTC is providing this opportunity for public comment before requesting that OMB extend the existing paperwork clearance for the regulations noted herein.

The FTC invites comments on: (1) whether the required collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information has practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the required collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

All comments should be filed as prescribed in the ADDRESSES section above, and must be received on or before August 30, 2010.

Background

Section 615(d) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”), 15 U.S.C. 1681m(d)(1), requires that any person who uses a consumer report in order to make an unsolicited firm offer of credit or insurance to the consumer, shall provide with each written solicitation a clear and conspicuous statement that:

 (A) information contained in the consumer’s consumer report was used in connection with the transaction; (B) the consumer received the offer of credit or insurance because the consumer satisfied the criteria for credit worthiness or insurability under which the consumer was selected for the offer; (C) if applicable, the credit or insurance may not be extended if, after the consumer responds to the offer, the consumer does not meet the criteria used to select the consumer for the offer or any applicable criteria bearing on credit worthiness or insurability or does not furnish any required collateral; (D) the consumer has a right to prohibit information contained in the consumer’s file with any consumer reporting agency from being used in connection with any credit or insurance transaction that is not initiated by the consumer; and (E) the consumer may exercise the right referred to in subparagraph (D) by notifying a notification system established under section 604(e) [of the FCRA].

Section 615(d)(1) of the FCRA [15 U.S.C. 1681m(d)(1)].

The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, Pub. L. 108-159, 117 Stat. 1952 (“FACT Act”) was signed into law on December 4, 2003. Section 213(a) of the FACT Act amended FCRA Section 615(d) to require that the statement mandated by Section 615(d) “be presented in such format and in such type size and manner as to be simple and easy to understand, as established by the Commission, by rule, in consultation with the Federal banking agencies and the National Credit Union Administration.” The Commission published the Final Rule in the Federal Start Printed Page 37438Register on January 31, 2005 and the Rule became effective August 1, 2005.

The Rule adopted a “layered” notice approach that requires a short, simple, and easy-to-understand statement of consumers’ opt-out rights on the first page of the prescreened solicitation, along with a longer statement containing additional details elsewhere in the solicitation. Specifically, the Rule required that a short notice be placed on the front side of the first page of the principal promotional document in the solicitation, or, if provided electronically, on the same page and in close proximity to the principal marketing message. The Rule specifies that the type size be larger than the type size of the principal text on the same page, but in no event smaller than 12-point type, or if provided by electronic means, then reasonable steps shall be taken to ensure that the type size is larger than the type size of the principal text on the same page. The Rule further provides that the long notice, that appears elsewhere in the solicitation, be in a type size that is no smaller than the type size of the principal text on the same page, but in no event smaller than 8-point type. The long notice shall begin with a heading in capital letters and underlined, and identifying the long notice as the “PRESCREEN & OPT-OUT NOTICE” in a type style that is distinct from the principal type style used on the same page and be set apart from other text on the page. The Rule also includes model notices in English and Spanish.

Burden Statement

Estimated total annual hours burden: 1,000 to 1,500 hours

As in the 2007 PRA burden analysis when the Commission last sought renewed clearance,2 FTC staff estimates that between 500 and 750 entities make prescreened solicitations and will each spend approximately 2 hours to monitor compliance with the Rule. Accordingly, cumulative total annual burden is between 1,000 to 1,500 hours. Additionally, FTC staff assumes that in-house legal counsel will handle most of the compliance review, and at an estimated average hourly wage of $250/hour. Accordingly, cumulative labor cost for all affected entities would be between $250,000 and $375,000. Capital and other non-labor costs should be minimal, at most, since the Rule has been in effect several years, with covered entities now equipped to provide the required notice.

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Willard K. Tom

General Counsel

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Footnotes

1.  The comment must be accompanied by an explicit request for confidential treatment, including the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. The request will be granted or denied by the Commission’s General Counsel, consistent with applicable law and the public interest. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

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2.  72 FR 60672 (Oct. 25, 2007); 72 FR 42092 (Aug. 1, 2007). No comments were received in response to those notices.

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[FR Doc. 2010-15720 Filed 6-28-10: 2:08 pm]

BILLING CODE 6750-01-S