Simply stated – not all databases are the same.
First, there’s the riveting topic of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) data. Snore. It’s not very exciting. But it is very important, especially to investigators. GLBA data is federally regulated data that contains sensitive information on individuals—not businesses—just individuals. And it’s exactly this kind of information that investigators want and need when it comes to launching cases.
IRBsearch provides investigators with access to GLBA data only when they identify legally permissible purposes such as fraud prevention, law enforcement purposes, or legal compliance. Public databases just don’t have the same kind of data.
The GLBA Act (also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act) passed in 1999, and it allowed banks, brokerages, and insurance companies to legally merge. The new information garnered by banks prompted legislative stipulations for individual privacy rights known as Title V.
There are three main parts to GLBA’s Title V governing the disclosure of nonpublic personal information:
- The Financial Privacy Rule
- The Safeguards Rule
- Pretexting Provisions
The good news is there are exceptions to Title V specifically with respect to professional investigators The financial privacy rule mandates consumer privacy notices and opt-out clauses, but consumers cannot opt-out of mandatory and legal investigations. The safeguards rule is all about security from the party disseminating the information and the party receiving the information. And the pretexting clause makes sure you have a legitimate reason to research the subject. This just means an investigator needs to select an appropriate reason to conduct the search each time he or she runs a query.
Not everyone has access to this type of information—investigation professions are a select group. So when you access a GLBA database, such as IRBsearch, it means you have access to a set of information not available through all information brokers. Not all databases adhere to the GLBA laws!