Personal Privacy in an Information Society. Federal Regulation

07/12/1997

The Federal government has only one law which affects the record-keeping practices of the insurance industry-the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The FCRA governs the use of inspection bureau reports prepared by support organizations in connection with underwriting decisions by insurers, and thus its effect on insurance institutions is limited to their role as users of such reports. There are also a few State fair credit reporting statutes similar to the Federal one. The Commission believes that amending the Fair Credit Reporting Act is a good mechanism to implement many of its recommendations that are beyond the scope of the present Act, including some of its insurance recommendations. The scope of the Act could be broadened, and its title and enforcement framework could be altered to reflect the new scope presented by some of the Commission's recommendations. In addition, the oversight functions presently given to the Federal Trade Commission could be expanded, thus avoiding the necessity of creating a new Federal agency to oversee implementation of those Commission recommendations which are proposed for adoption by amendment of the FCRA.