EPIC submitted a statement to the Federal Trade Commission in response to a public request for feedback about new trends in technology, consumer protection, and the debt collection industry. EPIC argued that Congress has authorized the FTC to bring much stronger regulations to bare on the debt collection industry. The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from publicizing consumers' debts to any third party. Section 5 of The FTC Act bars unfair and deceptive trade practices. The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act gives debt collectors an affirmative legal duty to protect the sensitive information they collect. Congress gave the FTC authority to enforce all three of these laws. EPIC cited the sharp rise in complaints to the agency about debt collectors and a recent criminal case against debt collectors who coordinated with an identity theft scheme in Buffalo, New York as compelling reasons for the agency to introduce meaningful enforcement actions.
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