Examples of Abuse Timeline

Experian operates globally, describes itself as “Unlocking the power of data to help create a better tomorrow”. Experian developed from credit and consumer reporting to also offer marketing data services. Experian hold and manage marketing data on 700 million people around the world. We are concerned with a number of Experian’s services and products, in particular Experian's Consumer Marketing through Consumer View, which provides “Access to data about circa 51 million individual UK consumers living at residential addresses, with circa 30 million consumers available for prospecting purposes.” The data includes “500+ variables” meaning that individuals identities are linked to demographic, socio-economic and behavioural characteristics. We are also concerned with Experian's Audience Insights and Audience Extension use online and device identifiers so that clients can recognise and target individuals, as well as the use of these products and others by the public sector.

 

  • In 2017 a free online service offered by Experian was found to be allowing anyone to request the PIN needed to unlock a previously-frozen consumer credit file. Freezing the file is intended to secure such accounts against tampering and fraud.

  • In March 2017, Experian agreed to pay a $3 million fine to settle a complaint brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that until 2014 the company had provided consumers with "educational" credit scores that were different from the FICO scores actually provided to credit ca

  • In October 2015, Experian announced that a breach of its computer systems exposed the Social Security numbers and other data of approximately 15 million people who applied for financing from the mobile network operator T-Mobile USA, to which Experian supplied credit assessment service

  • In 2013, detailed personal information being sold by the fraudster-friendly underground service Superget.info was found to have been bought from CourtVentures, a public records aggregator bought by Experian in 2012.

  • In 2007, Experience agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that the company's ads for a "free credit report" failed to explain clearly enough that consumers who signed up would be enrolled in a credit-monitoring programme costing $79.95 per year.

  • As early as 2005, Experian began suggesting that its Mosaic consumer classification system, used by retail chains to tailor their stock for local populations could be used by political parties for campaigning.

  • In 2000, Experian entered into a consent decree with the Federal Trade Commission and agreed to pay $1 million to settle charges that the company blocked and delayed incoming phone calls from consumers wishing to discuss the contents of and possible errors in their credit reports.