February 18, 2005

a couple of good consumer privacy things

These are not really new, but they are not well publicized and the credit agencies are deliberately keeping them obscure, so it's worth a mention. I have tried both of these services, and as far as I can tell they are entirely legitimate.

In the US, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the major credit tracking agencies to provide an annual free credit report for consumers. The rollout of this program is staged by region of the US; it is already available for the West, and will cover the upper Midwest as of March 1. "Interestingly" (infuriatingly), the credit agencies have designed the free report website (https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp) so that it does not allow direct linking. Fortunately, EPIC has provided an automatic redirect page to the free credit report website.

You can also opt out of receiving those annoying pre-approved credit card offers, through a website (https://www.optoutprescreen.com) run by the same credit reporting agencies. Same deal on direct linking and redirects. Use this redirect page to opt out of credit card offers. The site seemed a little squirrely when I used it, so make sure you get the confirmation page that says your submission was received.

[via EPIC and LifeHacker]

Posted by Gene at February 18, 2005 09:50 AM | TrackBack

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