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South Carolinians To Pay For Experian Contract

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Well, well, well …

Experian – the company which received a secretive, no-bid contract worth $12 million to provide credit monitoring services to victims of last year’s S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) data breach – will begin charging Palmetto State residents $12 a year for its services after dropping out of the bidding process for a new state-subsidized monitoring contract.

According to the Associated Press, Experian now stands to make “millions of dollars from customers who may not be aware that the state is funding those services for them through a new contract.”

Nice … so some of us are going to wind up paying twice for this service.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley – who negotiated the Experian contract – has come under fire for the deal she cut (and with good reason). In addition to numerous inconsistencies regarding the timing of the contract and the lack of consideration given to other providers, Haley’s administration was busted telling several flat out lies regarding the company’s so-called “exclusive” services, which it turns out other companies not only provided – but provided at cheaper costs.

Surprise, surprise …

Last October Haley revealed SCDOR had been subjected to the largest state-level data breach in American history. Over a period of several weeks in August and September of last year, as-yet-unidentified hackers robbed the agency of 3.8 million Social Security numbers, 3.3 million bank account numbers, tax info for more than 650,000 businesses and nearly 400,000 credit and debit card numbers.

SCDOR never knew what happened … and it took Haley more than two weeks after belatedly discovering the breach to alert the public.

Haley initially claimed that “there wasn’t anything where anyone in state government could have done anything” to stop the breach – and that the Palmetto State used “industry standard” data security methods. Both of those claims turned out to be completely false.

Meanwhile nearly a year after the breach, no one has been apprehended or held accountable and no new information has been made available. A report on the hacking was prepared by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, but Haley refuses to release it to the public.