Experian Withdraws Internet Credit Reporting Following Misdeliveries

According to front page Washington Post story by Robert O'Harrow, Jr., on August 16, 1997, Experian, Inc. withdrew a service that was intended to provide (for a fee of $8.66) customers with their credit histories via the WWW only two days after its introduction. The cause was the misdelivery of a number of credit histories, including the delivery of Post reporter Blaine Harden's information to an individual in Columbia. According to the published account, when he learned of the delivery of his record to someone else, Harden tried the service again. After identifying himself with a variety of pieces of information identifying himself, Harden was then erroneously delivered the record of yet another individual. Although technical details are lacking in the account, it appears that Experian (formerly known as TRW Information Systems & Services) was using SSL and that only records of individuals who had actually attempted to retrieve their records were misdelivered.

The published story is currently readable at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/frompost/features/aug97/privacy16.htm.