CPSC Data Breach

CPSC Acknowledges Unauthorized Release of Manufacturer Information

April 15, 2019 – HIGH POINT, NC – The American Home Furnishings Alliance confirmed today that several of its members are among the manufacturers impacted by a privacy breach disclosed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on April 11.

An unspecified number of manufacturers received last week’s notification from CPSC attorney Harriet Kerwin. The notice says manufacturer names along with product model names and/or model numbers were released in error to the public without following the procedures required by Section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

Section 6(b) restricts the CPSC’s public disclosure of manufacturer- and product-specific information involving safety incidents before CPSC has investigated the safety claims. The purpose of the provision is to protect manufacturers from the release of inaccurate or misleading information.

In the manufacturer notice, Kerwin says CPSC staff contacted the recipients of the information and “requested” that they return it or destroy it. “The CPSC informed the recipients that this information cannot be published or further disseminated,” Kerwin stated.

“Based on this it appears the information could have been released months ago, but the agency only just recently discovered the issue,” suggested attorneys in the consumer product safety practice of Mintz in Washington, D.C. “Consumer product manufacturers that have received this notice should start taking steps to determine the extent of the information CPSC released about their products and how it affects their company,” they concluded.