For Credit Agencies, You Are the Commodity, Not the Customer


rt SOLEDAD: YOU MAY BE ONE OF THE 143 MILLION AMERICAN CONSUMERS rt WHOSE PERSONAL INFORMATION WAS EXPOSED IN A DATA BREACH AT EQUIFAX. IT’S ONE OF THE NATION’S THREE MAJOR CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES rt BREACH OCCURRED BJULY. THE HACKERS GOT HOLD OF PEOPLE’S NAMES, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, rt SOME INSTANCES, DRIVER’S LICENSE NUMBERS. THE BREACH RAISES CRUCIAL rt QUESTIONS ABOUTA CHI CHI WU WORKED IN THE SS AND IS NOW WITH THE NATIONAL CONSUMER LAW CENTER.rt A CONSUMER ADVOCACY GROUP, AND SHE JOIN. NICE TO SEE YOU. THANKS FOR TALKIH US. IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE AMONG THE 143 rtMILLION PEOPLE WHOSE DATA HAS BEEN COMPROMISED, WHAT rt SHOU OF ALL, THANK YOU FOR HAVING MHE. WHAT WE’RE TELLING CONSUMERS, WHETHER OR NOT THEY THINK KE TO rt FREEZE YOUR CREDIT REPORT. GO A. A FREEZE SORT OF LOCKS DOWN YOUR CREDIT REPORT SO THAT NO ONE CAN USE IT TO OPEN UP A NEW CREDIT rt ACCOUNT. SOLEDAD: HOW DO YOU DO THAT? CHI CHI: SO YOU HAVE TO GO TE W THREE CREDIT REPORTING ArtGENCIES. EQUIFAX, EXPERIAN, TRANSUNION. YOU HAVE T ALL THREE BECAUSE IF YOUR INFORMATION IS OUT THERErt AND YOU MIGHT BE T VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT, THEY EXPERIAN R TRANSUNN ADDITION TO YOUR EQUIFAX REPORT TO TRY TO OPEN UP NEW CREDIT. SO YOU WANT TO — YOU WA IT rtAT . YOU HAVE TO GO TO THEIR WEBSITES. YOU HAVE TO GOO THE WEB PAGE FOR SECURITY FREEZE. AND UNrtFORTUNATELY, WITH EXPERIAN AND TRANSUNION, YOU MAY HAVE TO. EQUIFAX HAS SAID THEY’RE WAIVING THE FEE UNTIL NOVEMBER 21ST. BUT — SOLEDArtD: WHI SHOCKING, RIGHT? I MEAN, BECAUSE THEY WOULD, I THINE LIKE SOMETHING LIKE 10 BUCKS DEPENDING ON WHAT STATE YOUR IN. UNTIL NO, rtTHEY’RE GOING TO KINDLY WAIVE THE FEES FOR US TO FREEZE OUR CREDIT ON SOMETHING . CHI CHI: THE WHOLErt OUTRAGEOUS, YOU KNOW. WE ARE THE VICTIMS OF THIS . 143 MILLION OF US. YET, WE’RE GOING TO HAVE TO GO rt AND PAY FOR THESE FREEZES TO P IDEN. SOLEDAD: I WAS SURPRISED THAT THESE CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIEY WHEN THERE’S BEEN A rtBREACH. WHY DOT NOT EXIST OR SEEM VERY, VERY WEAK? CHI CHI: WELL, THERE ARE L rt48 STATES REQUIRING BUSINESSES N A BREACH OF PERSONAL INFORMATION, THEY’RE CALLED DATA BREACH NOTIFICATION LAWS.rt THEY VARY. ARE, YOU KNOW, VERY STRONG, REQUIRE NOTIFICATION IN 30 DAYS. OTHERS HAVE A MORE FLEXIBLE rt STANDARD WITHOUT UNREASONABLE DELAY. AND SO WE’RE CAPTIVE IN THIS. WE HAVE VERY LITTLE CONTROL. SO AS A CAPTIVE, THEN, ALLrt OF US, WHAT DO WE DO? WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE FIX? CHI CHI: CONSUMERS, OBVIOUSLY rt HAVE A VOICE WITH THEIR MEMBERS OF CONGRA COUPLE OF BILLS INTRODUCED AF DATA BREAC FREEZES FREE SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO PAY FOR THEM.rt ACTUALLY, REIMBURSES PEOPLE WHO HAD TO PAY SOMETHING TO FREEZE THEI ON A BROADER LEVEL, ALL THE rt PROBLEMS WITH CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES, THERS TO TRY TO ADDRrt THEY’RE PRIVATE COMPANIES. A IS TO SHAREHOLDERS, NOT TO THE AMERICANT TO THE AMERICAN E.rt BUT TO MAKE MONEY, AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT WHERE THEY FIT IN OUR CRED ECONOMY AND HOW rt IMPORTANT THEY ARE AND GET CRE THEY HAVE A GOOD CREDIT REPORT, YOU KNOW, WE NEED BETTO

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