In the latest high-profile breach of a U.S. organization, hackers broke into Experian’s database of information on 15 million T-Mobile customers and potential customers. But what is Experian, and why does the credit bureau keep data on a wireless carrier’s customers?
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.washingtonpost.com
WHAT INFORMATION DOES EXPERIAN HAVE ON ME?
If you’ve applied for a credit card, mortgage, student loan or any financial product in the last three decades, Experian likely has some sort of data on you. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates Experian, Equifax and TransUnion hold records on more than 200 million Americans. The data can be basic information like your address and birthdate. But if you’ve applied for credit, the agencies could know more about your financial situation than your parents or spouse do. They’ll have your Social Security number, all of the banks you have credit card accounts with, the limit on those cards and if you pay them down regularly. They can know your work history, if you’ve had any collections or court judgments against you or if you’ve ever defaulted on a loan.
WHY WAS EXPERIAN COLLECTING AND HOLDING INFORMATION FOR T-MOBILE? T-Mobile has to decide whether to allow a potential customer to open an account or to finance their newly purchased phone. Anyone applying for cell service, with some exceptions like a prepaid phone, needs to get a credit check before T-Mobile or other carriers approve service. T-Mobile, which contracted out the credit check to Experian, says applicants from between September 1, 2013 and September 16, 2015 were affected.