Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Equifax CEO on ID Theft

According the Associated Press, Thomas Chapman, chairman and CEO of Equifax, said about ID theft: "It's an epidemic that worries me to death."

He also apparently admitted, or claimed, that checking your credit report once a year is not enough: "It's not going to help, and the public is starting to learn that."

He also said that he is against laws allowing people free access to their credit report:

"I'm all for good laws, laws that protect people. But this isn't one of them."

According to the AP, he "also opposes the law because it forces the companies to give away their product, which he called 'un-American.' "

Given the key role played by Equifax in the problems created by what we have come to call "identity theft," most people come down on the side of such laws being as American as Apple Pie.

But Chapman does have a point, in that, generally, it's easy for politicians to call for a product to be given away.

I would submit that we could rescind such laws, but that, in fairness, we would also have to admit that it is also Un-American to ruin someone else's repuation unfairly.

So maybe we could replace the free-credit-report laws with laws which allow companies like Equifax to be sued for defamation every time they issue a credit report with information flawed enough to injure a person's reputation.

This shouldn't be a problem for a Equifax, unless of course, their reports are not 100% accurate. Is that possible?


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