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CHOICEPOINT TO PAY $5,000 TO WISCONSIN IN MULTI-STATE CONSUMER SETTLEMENT

 

The deadline to submit a redress claim form to the FTC is June 22, 2007

 

MADISON - Identification verification company ChoicePoint has settled a consumer action with Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the attorneys general in 43 other states involving a 2005 security breach that took place at the company. This settlement imposes mandatory safeguards beyond those imposed on the company by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a previous settlement. Under the FTC settlement, ChoicePoint was ordered to pay $5 million in consumer restitution to individuals affected by the breach. Affected Wisconsin consumers may file claims (see contact information below) to cover damages they may have suffered when their personal information was compromised.

 

The state settlement resolves allegations that the company failed to adequately maintain the privacy and security of consumers' personally identifiable information under the company's control. As part of this settlement, ChoicePoint will make significant, ongoing changes in the way the company credentials new customers who have access to personally identifiable information. The company will also pay $500,000 to the states. Wisconsin will receive $5,000 of this award, which can be used to fund consumer education and for enforcement of consumer protection laws.

 

ChoicePoint provides identification and credential verification services to businesses, government and non-profit organizations. Among other things, the company collects, maintains, and distributes consumers' personally identifiable information.

 

In February 2005, ChoicePoint announced that criminals posing as legitimate businesses gained access to consumers' personally identifiable information. According to the FTC at least 800 cases of identity theft arose as a result of the breach.

 

In a previous January 2006 settlement with the FTC, ChoicePoint was ordered to pay $10 million in penalties $5 million in consumer redress. Consumers suffering out-of-pocket losses resulting from the ChoicePoint breach may be entitled to restitution but must submit their redress claim to the FTC by June 22, 2007. If consumers meet the eligibility requirements for redress, they can complete the redress form and submit that for consideration. For more information or to file a claim, visit: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/cases/choicepoint/index.shtm.

 

Assistant Attorney General Nelle Rohlich of the Wisconsin Department of Justice represented the State.