Attorney General Alan Wilson today announced a multistate settlement with Experian Data Corp (“EDC”) for failing to warn affected consumers after it learned that an identity thief was posing as a private investigator and retrieving sensitive personal information from Court Ventures Inc., a database that EDC had purchased.
In 2012, the U.S. Secret Service notified EDC of the existence of the identity thief, who had begun accessing information from the Court Ventures, Inc. database before EDC purchased the company and continued to do so after the purchase. EDC 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.
“This identity thief has already been held accountable and now the company that never notified its customers is also being held accountable,” Attorney General Wilson said. “Ensuring South Carolinians’ personal information is an issue we take seriously, so we’re glad we could get this case resolved.”
EDC has agreed to injunctive relief and a payment of $1 million to resolve this multistate investigation.
Under this resolution, joined by a group of 40 states, EDC has agreed to a series of provisions designed to strengthen 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;
- Maintaining a “Red Flags” program to detect and respond to potential identity theft; and
- Implementing certain personal information safeguards and controls, including encryption or its equivalent for personal information on their network and in transit.
South Carolina, which assisted with the investigation, will receive $20,000.00 from the EDC settlement.
Joining Attorney General Wilson in today’s settlement are the attorneys general of Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, 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 Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.