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On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission requested public comment on the continuing relevance a decade-old data protection rule. 

The Disposal Rule, part of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), requires businesses to render consumer reports  including credit and background checks unreadable before disposing of them. That can mean shredding or burning documents, or using more thorough methods of deleting a digital document than dragging it to the trash icon. 

{mosads}The call for comments asks for perspectives on what needs to be strengthened, weakened or removed from the Disposal Rule, the costs of complying and whether greater specificity in disposal methods are needed.

The FTC is currently reviewing all of its regulations and guidelines. 

The rule passed in 2003 and was implemented in 2005. In 2004, when the FTC sought comments on how to implement the rule, privacy advocate groups, including the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Consumers Union cosigned a letter praising the legislation. 

“By enacting [the Disposal Rule] requiring proper disposal of consumer information, Congress has given the public one of the strongest tools yet in combating the growing crime of identity theft,” it said. 

Comments are due by November 21. 

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