Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




Equifax Says It's Un-American For People To Know What Equifax Knows About Them

from the it's-just-darn-un-american dept

It's tough to figure out where to start on the various comments from Equifax boss Thomas Chapman, who claims that the new law requiring the big credit companies to let people see what data has been collected on them for free at least once a year "unconstitutional and un-American." His argument is that it "cuts into the profits" of his company. First of all, cutting into someone's profits isn't unconstitutional or un-American by itself. Second, they're not asking him to "give away" some random product, but to let anyone check the info that his company has collected on that person to make sure it's accurate. Considering just how much depends on these companies reporting data accurately, that seems like the least they should be required to do. In fact, they should want to encourage that as it means they would have more accurate data. Besides, part of the problem is really that many people don't realize just how much data these companies have on them, and how much of it is just wrong. Besides, given the various sneaky upsells, it certainly looks like the big credit companies are actually increasing their profits by convincing people that they actually do have to pay for these "free" reports. The article also gets amusing towards the end where Chapman puts his foot in his mouth big-time by basically saying they've had a bunch of data breaches which haven't been announced, and then trying to pretend he never admitted that, first by saying: "I don't think you've seen our name in the news," then by refusing to answer more pointed questions on the issue with: "I'm not going to go there. I'm not going to answer that question. We have been notifying and engaging in communication with customers, consumers, for a long time. We're known for that. We're known for our stand on privacy." Yup. Your stand on privacy is apparently that you don't believe in anyone's ability to check on their own private data to make sure it's accurate -- unless they first pay you.

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  1. identicon
    John, 6 Jul 2005 @ 12:25pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Charlie,

    People buy goods and services from companies. If you finance one of these goods such as a vehicle. And you have never missed or been late on any of the 36+ payments. Is it fair for you to have the automotive company give you any type of remarks that are not positive? Well you normally would not know. You would just have bad credit and get rejected everywhere. Even for a cell phone.

    Now take into account all of the recent activties where people are stealing IDentity (ID Theft). Of course once stolen. They use your name and credit rating to purchase something and never pay for it. Now you have a bad mark. Guess what? You'll never know and be able to fight it until you put up $100 for your credit report. AND That's just the beginning of a long process. Lawyer Fees, etc...

    If the credit report is supposed to be an accurate national database that every company uses to decide whether or not you are worthy. Should it not be open at least to the individual whose information it contains?

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