Attorney General Phil Weiser announces $20,000 settlement with Experian-owned company after identity thief posed as private investigator
Nov. 7, 2022 (DENVER) – Attorney General Phil Weiser today announced Experian Data Corp will pay Colorado $20,000 in a multistate settlement after the company failed to warn affected consumers when the company learned that an identity thief was posing as a private investigator and retrieving sensitive personal information from Court Ventures Inc., a database that Experian had purchased.
In 2012, the U.S. Secret Service notified Experian of the existence of the identity thief, who had begun accessing information from the Court Ventures, Inc. database before Experian purchased the company and continued to do so after the purchase. Experian failed to notify affected consumers of the identity thief’s actions.
Since that time, the individual has pleaded guilty to federal criminal charges for wire fraud, identity fraud, access device fraud, and computer fraud and abuse, among other charges.
“Identity theft threatens people’s livelihood, savings, and wellness,” Weiser said. “Businesses need to protect consumer data from nefarious actors and when a company’s safeguards fail, quick notification is key to ensuring consumers can protect their identities.”
Experian agreed to improve its security and reporting practices, including:
- Strengthening its vetting and oversight of third parties that it allows to access personal information;
- Investigating and reporting data security incidents to the attorneys general; and
- Implementing certain personal information safeguards and controls, including encryption or its equivalent for personal information on their network and in transit.
Experian also agreed to pay $1 million to the states involved in the investigation. The $20,000 will be used by the Attorney General’s Office for reimbursement of the State’s actual costs and attorneys’ fees, and for future consumer fraud or antitrust enforcement, consumer education, or public welfare purposes.
To learn about data protection requirements for businesses and government entities, or to find tips for impacted consumers, click here.
Joining Attorney General Weiser in today’s settlement are the Attorneys General of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
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