One of world's biggest collectors of consumer data has agreed to pay $275,000 after federal authorities accused it of exposing the personal information of 13,750 people. The payment, which settles charges the Federal Trade Commission brought against Choicepoint, amounts to just $20 per exposed consumer. The breach was the result of someone at the company inadvertently turning off a database monitoring system. Unknown intruders then accessed social security numbers and other details by conducting unauthorized searches. Choicepoint's gaffe came even as the company was under court-ordered monitoring for a separate security lapse in 2005 that led to at least 800 cases of identity theft, according to the FTC. A year later, Choicepoint paid $15m and promised to implement procedures ensuring that consumer reports were provided only to legitimate businesses for lawful purposes. The data collector also agreed to regularly get independent assessments of its data security program through 2026.
Data collector charged $275,000 for leaking personal data
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