Today we received a copy of the House Oversight Committee’s letter to the FTC’s Inspector General, Kelly Tshibaka, reqesting a full review of the FTC’s relationship with Tiversa, concurrent with the Oversight Committee’s investigation into the firm. Specifically, the letter penned by Committee Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) requests the FTC’s Inspector General examine:
The FTC’s procedure for receiving information that it uses to pursue enforcement actions and whether FTC employees have improperly influenced how the agency receives information.
The role played by FTC employees in the receipt of information from Tiversa, Inc….and whether Tiversa, Inc. received any benefit from this arrangement.
The reasons for the FTC’s issuance of a civil investigative demand to the Privacy Institute, instead of Tiversa, the custodian of the information.
In the letter, the Oversight Committee’s description of it’s concerns and investigation of Tiversa is damning, and while the investigation encompasses more than the FTC’s complaint against LabMD, the case is specifically addressed saying,
The possibility that inaccurate information played a role in the FTC’s decision to initiate enforcement actions against LabMD is a serious matter…[and] resulted in serious financial difficulties for the company
In August 2013, the FTC filed a complaint against LabMD, a cancer detection laboratory headquartered in Atlanta, GA. The complaint alleges that LabMD ‘exposed the personal information of approximately 10,000 consumers’ and is largely based on information provided to the FTC by Tiversa, the company currently under investigation by the House Oversight Committee and potentially in collusion with FTC employees.
One wonders if the practices engaged in by Tiversa and FTC employees would be considered ‘unfair’ by the organization whose tagline reads ‘protecting America’s Consumers’.
WayneDupree.com will continue to cover the FTC vs. LabMD proceedings and report additional details as they become available.