FTC again hits Trans Union

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The Federal Trade Commission today again ordered Trans Union Corp. to stop selling marketers lists of specific categories of consumers with good credit. In a case that could test the limits of the FTC's authority over privacy issues and also have a big impact on direct marketers, the commission ruled a second time on the case it first brought in 1992, because of an appellate court's confusion on the earlier FTC ruling. The FTC said Trans Union created a "consumer report" when it sold marketers lists of consumers with car loans, first mortgages and second mortgages, and that the sale of the information without a consumer's request for credit violates privacy laws. Trans Union has contended the sale of the information is covered by First Amendment freedoms, and said today it would appeal the decision.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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