More Information about the FTC's Privacy Practices

View the FTC Privacy Policy >>

Why does the FTC collect personal information?

We collect and maintain the information that you provide to us to enforce or administer the Federal Trade Commission Act, the Telemarketing Sales Rule, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and many other laws and regulations. If you are doing business with the FTC, for example, working as a contractor, we are required to collect your Social Security number or other taxpayer ID number. If a visitor to our website shows an age under 13, we do not collect any personal information. Federal law, including the Electronic Government (E-GOV) Act of 2002 and the Privacy Act of 1974, requires us to tell you how we collect, use, share, and protect your personal information. For descriptions of how we handle information in specific projects, refer to our Privacy Impact Assessments.

What information does the FTC collect when I visit an FTC website?

When you visit an FTC website, we automatically collect some temporary, anonymous information about your visit to help us improve navigation on our site or investigate disruption of service attacks. This information includes an IP (Internet protocol) address; the date and time of your visit; and the browser software and operating system used for your visit. FTC websites, such as, use "cookies" technology to keep track of your visit while you are using the website. Your computer can be configured to erase the cookies when you close your Web browser. We do not use persistent cookies.

Can I review the information the FTC has about me?

Yes. You have certain rights under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Privacy Act of 1974. If you are interested in getting the information we have about you, contact our FOIA/Privacy Act office. However, investigatory material gathered for law enforcement may be exempt. Read more about your rights under the Privacy Act.

Can I limit how the FTC uses or shares my personal information?

If you submit information for the public record, such as a comment on an FTC rule, guide or workshop, you can limit the posting of this information only as provided in our confidentiality rules. See FTC Rule 4.9(c). You decide what information to provide when you contact the FTC; however, we may be unable to respond or take appropriate action if your information is inaccurate or incomplete.

How does the FTC protect my personal information?

We use security measures to protect your personal information and to control access to it, including computer safeguards and monitoring, and secured files and buildings to control access. We use secure socket layer (SSL) encryption to protect the transmission of the information you give us when you use our secure online forms. Do not email the FTC sensitive information such as a Social Security or account number. Instead, contact us by using our secure online forms or by phone.

What happens when I leave an FTC website?

Our websites link to pages located on sites maintained by other agencies and organizations. Once you access another site, you are subject to the privacy policy of that site. Although the FTC does not automatically collect or maintain personally identifying information when you visit our websites, we participate in a Department of Homeland Security program that monitors network traffic to detect malicious activity.

View the FTC Privacy Policy >>