An administrator working for the Federal Trade Commission is mailing checks to 14,023 consumers who were victims of ChoicePoint’s alleged failure to implement a comprehensive information security program to protect consumers’ personal information, as required by a previous court order. As a result, in the spring of 2008, an unauthorized person accessed its database and conducted unauthorized searches.
In January 2006, ChoicePoint settled FTC charges that its security and record-handling procedures violated consumers’ privacy rights and federal law, an action relating to a 2005 data breach. As part of that settlement, ChoicePoint agreed to maintain procedures to ensure that sensitive consumer reports were provided only to legitimate businesses for lawful purposes, to maintain a comprehensive data security program, and to obtain independent assessments of its data security program every other year until 2026.
In October 2009, the company settled charges that it violated the 2006 settlement order and agreed to a modified court order that expanded its data security assessment and reporting duties and required the company to compensate affected consumers for the time they may have spent monitoring their credit or taking other steps in response.
Checks for $18.17 are being sent to consumers.
These consumer redress checks can be cashed directly by the recipients of the checks. The FTC never requires the payment of money up-front, or the provision of additional information, before consumers cash redress checks issued to them.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,800 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.
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