[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 127 (Tuesday, July 1, 2008)]
[Pages 37457-37458]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-14866]



Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request

AGENCY: Federal Trade Commission (``FTC'' or ``Commission'').

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The FTC intends to conduct consumer survey research to advance 
its understanding of the experiences of consumers who interact with 
consumer reporting agencies following an incident of identity theft. 
The results of this research will inform and guide the FTC's future 
enforcement and education efforts. Before gathering information, the 
FTC is seeking public comments on its proposed consumer research. 
Comments will be considered before the FTC submits a request for Office 
of Management and Budget (``OMB'') review under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (``PRA'').

DATES: Comments must be filed by September 2, 2008.

ADDRESSES: Interested parties are invited to submit written comments. 
Comments should refer to ``Consumer Experiences with CRAs Research: FTC 
File No. P065405,'' to facilitate the organization of comments. A 
comment filed in paper form should include this reference both in the 
text and on the envelope and should be mailed or delivered to the 
following address: Federal Trade Commission, Room H-135 (Annex J), 600 
Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Because paper mail in 
the Washington area and at the FTC is subject to delay, please consider 
submitting your comments in electronic form, as prescribed below. If, 
however, the comment contains any material for which confidential 
treatment is requested, it must be filed in paper form, and the first 
page of the document must be clearly labeled ``Confidential.''\1\

    \1\ Commission Rule 4.2(d), 16 CFR 4.2(d). 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 Commission Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Comments filed in electronic form should be submitted by following 
the instructions on the web-based form at: (https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-factasurvey). To ensure that the Commission 
considers an electronic comment, you must file it on the web-based form 
at the (https://secure.commentworks.com/ftc-factasurvey) weblink. If 
this notice appears at (www.regulations.gov), 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 the Commission administers permit the 
collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as 
appropriate. All timely and responsive public comments will be 
considered by the Commission and will be available to the public on the 
FTC website, to the extent practicable, at www.ftc.gov. 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.htm).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
should be addressed to Pavneet Singh or Anthony Rodriguez, Attorneys, 
Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, Bureau of Consumer 
Protection, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., 
Mail Stop NJ-3158, Washington, DC 20580, (202) 326-2252.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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

[[Page 37458]]

OMB provide paperwork clearance for the information collection noted 
    The FTC invites comments on: (1) whether the proposed collections 
of information are 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 proposed collections of information; (3) ways to enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 
and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collections 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 September 2, 2008.

1. Description of the collection of information and proposed use

    The Fair Credit Reporting Act (``FCRA'') provides identity theft 
victims with certain rights, such as the ability to place fraud alerts 
on their credit files, designed to assist them in avoiding or 
mitigating the harms they suffer as a result of the crime.
    The Commission intends to use consumer survey research to advance 
its understanding of the experiences of identity theft victims who 
interact with consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) and who seek to avail 
themselves of their FCRA remedies. The consumer research will include 
focus group interviews of 30 consumers, to be followed by a pretesting 
phase consisting of phone interviews of another 30 consumers, and then 
mail surveys sent to individual consumers. The Commission seeks 
information from consumers who have been victims of identity theft and 
who have contacted one or more of the three nationwide CRAs for 
assistance. The information from consumers will be collected on a 
voluntary basis and will be maintained anonymously. The FTC staff will 
identify consumers to be contacted for each phase of the research from 
a random selection of consumers who have communicated with the FTC's 
Identity Theft Data Clearinghouse database between January 1, 2008 and 
May 30, 2008. Staff is seeking approximately 1,000 returned surveys 
because that input would enable it to project the results from the 
sample to the population from which the sample was drawn with a maximum 
error rate of 3%. Assuming a response rate of about 25% - 30%, this 
would require staff to mail the survey to approximately 3,000 - 4,000 
    Questions to identity theft victims in the research will address 
several topics, including but not limited to: victim experiences when 
they contacted one or more CRAs and whether they received the required 
notice of rights from CRAs; their access to free credit reports; and 
their ability to place fraud alerts on their files, dispute inaccurate 
information, and block information due to identity theft. The results 
of the focus groups and mail surveys will assist the FTC in assessing 
the experiences of identity theft victims when they interact with CRAs. 
This assessment will help to inform and guide the FTC's future efforts 
to enforce provisions of the FCRA and to educate consumers and the 
consumer reporting industry of their rights and obligations under the 

2. Estimated hours burden

    The FTC staff intends to include a total of 30 consumers divided 
between three separate focus groups, consisting of 10 per group, and 
estimates that each consumer will take approximately one hour to 
participate in the focus groups. Thus, the estimated annual burden 
imposed by the focus groups will be approximately 30 hours. The staff 
estimates that respondents to the mail survey will require, on average, 
approximately 8 minutes to answer the survey (based on anticipated 
variations among consumers when they interacted with CRAs). The staff 
will pretest the survey through phone interviews of approximately 30 
respondents to ensure that all questions are easily understood. The 
pretest will take approximately 4 hours as a whole (30 respondents x 8 
minutes each). For the full survey, the staff intends to mail 3,000-
4,000 surveys and anticipates receiving a response rate as high as 30% 
of the consumer recipients (i.e., 900 - 1,200 responses). Assuming 
1,200 consumers respond to the survey, the staff further estimates the 
final survey will require approximately 160 hours to complete (1,200 
respondents x 8 minutes each). Thus, cumulative burden hours for the 
clearance would total 194 hours.

3. Estimated cost burden

    The cost per respondent should be negligible. Participation is 
voluntary and will not require start-up, capital, or labor expenditures 
by respondents.

William Blumenthal
General Counsel
[FR Doc. E8-14866 Filed 6-30-08: 8:45 am]