US Senator Demands Answers From Experian

A powerful U.S. Senator is demanding answers from credit rating agency Experian in the wake of revelations that it sold confidential customer data to a Vietnamese identity thief. “If these recent news accounts are accurate, they raise serious questions about whether Experian as a company has appropriate practices in place for…

A powerful U.S. Senator is demanding answers from credit rating agency Experian in the wake of revelations that it sold confidential customer data to a Vietnamese identity thief.

“If these recent news accounts are accurate, they raise serious questions about whether Experian as a company has appropriate practices in place for vetting its customers and sharing sensitive consumer data with them,” U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) wrote in a letter to Experian’s CEO Don Robert.

Rockefeller added that Experian “refused to comply” with a previous request for information regarding its customer security safeguards that was made by his committee over a year ago.

Why does any of this matter to South Carolinians?

Glad you asked …

Experian received a secretive, no-bid contract from S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley during last year’s infamous #SCHacked scandal – which remains the largest state-level security breach in American history (resulting in the loss 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).

With a wink ;) and a nod, Haley coughed up $12 million of your money to Experian to provide credit monitoring services to victims of the breach – a deal which almost immediately came under fire.

What for? Well, 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.

The scandal made news again last month when Experian notified its South Carolina customers – whose data is presumably floating down the Mekong River right now – that it was charging them $12 to “renew” their accounts. What did the company neglect to tell them? That state government had coughed up millions more on another credit monitoring contract.

Haley has been working hard in recent months to minimize the political damage from the #SCHacked scandal. The very last thing she needed was for Experian to find itself embroiled in a national controversy …

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snickering October 24, 2013 at 9:08 pm

And the dominoes keep falling.

Beachtiger0412 October 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm

Nikki Haley tried to claim today that no one had their financial accounts compromised due to SC Hacking. I know that is a lie. I am one of those people.

Smirks October 25, 2013 at 8:26 am

Vote accordingly in the primary.

Tom October 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

Is anyone running against Haley in the Primary?

CNSYD October 24, 2013 at 9:46 pm

“powerful U.S. Senator” How did he get powerful? Because there are no term limits and the people of WVA keep reelecting him. This is what Mace and her sponsor Sic Willie want to break up. Funny how when Sic Willie can use a “powerful US Senator” against Haley he is all for the system that made him “powerful”.

sweepin October 24, 2013 at 11:49 pm

New masthead:

Unfair. Imbalanced. Impractical. Inconsistent.

Jan October 25, 2013 at 3:18 pm

You forgot sometimes incoherent.

snickering October 25, 2013 at 2:03 am

Seriously this is what you got from this story. You should be a little embarrassed.

Alvin October 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

Nancy, dat you?

snickering October 25, 2013 at 9:32 am

Naw Alvin. I jus got a liddle upset this commenter put Trikki Nikki’s personal political best interests over his own, his families, his community and his state. Unless the commenter was Trikki Nikki or they are in LUV with her seems kinda dumb you know.

CNSYD October 25, 2013 at 4:24 pm

As usual you are way out in left field. The post is about Sic Willie. The fact that Haley is part of it is incidental.

shifty henry October 24, 2013 at 10:12 pm

If you your lips would save from slips,
Five things observe with care —
Of whom you speak, to whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.

Smirks October 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

At the very least, it looks like we went about finding the new company properly. Not sure if a link was posted before, but you can sign up here:


Hopefully it turns out better than Experian.

southmauldin October 25, 2013 at 11:00 am

Thanks Smirks. If this state were populated by free thinking voters, Haley wouldn’t clear 10% in the general.

Nölff October 25, 2013 at 9:34 am

At least the Senator from WV takes care of us South Carolinians more than Haley does.

anonymous October 26, 2013 at 12:37 am

Law firm (Nelson Mullins) tries to clear up confusion about how Experian deal reached

November 27, 2012

COLUMBIA — Thad Westbrook of Nelson Mullins, a law firm representing the state in the aftermath of a massive cyber breach now says NO competitors were contacted before the state reached a $12 million no-bid contract with Experian.

Attorney Jon Neiditz of Columbia firm Nelson Mullins said the confusion over whether the firm had contacted other credit monitoring companies resulted from an unclear statement made by another attorney, Thad Westbrook.

The Revenue Department reached an initial agreement with Experian just before the breach affecting millions of current and former S.C. taxpayers was first announced publicly on Oct. 26.

The confusion over whether Thad Westbrook of Nelson Mullins ever reached out to Experian competitors began at an Oct. 30 Senate Finance Committee hearing from comments from Nelson Mullins attorney Thad Wetbrook.

Revenue Department Director James Etter, who is resigning effective at the end of this year, correctly told senators that no other companies were contacted besides Experian.

But Nelson Mullins attorney Thad Westbrook immediately followed up and told senators that pricing was obtained from two other firms but Experian had the ability to scale up quickly in an emergency situation.

Weeks after the hearing, Revenue Department spokeswoman Samantha Cheek named the other two companies that Nelson Mullins had obtained estimates from as Citreas and Identity Force.

Obtaining pricing information from Experian competitors and examination did not include reaching out to them.

Neiditz said he had pre-existing pricing information from various cyber security companies and knew Experian could offer the best deal. The leaders of other firms have disputed that assessment.

Neiditz said Monday that Thad Westbrook’s statement during the hearing caused confusion.

“It wasn’t clear,” Neiditz said. “It led to the impression that other companies had been contacted….I mentioned those vendors to him.”

Some senators have expressed concerns about the state’s NO-BID contract with Experian.

Anderson GOP Sen. Kevin Bryant said it’s worrisome that no other companies were approached following the breach.

“This snowball just keeps getting bigger and bigger as time goes by,” Bryant is co-chairman of a new oversight panel tasked with looking into the cyber attack.

Normally, state contracts are struck following a request for proposals from various companies.

The law states “competition as is practicable SHALL be obtained.”

Neiditz recommended Experian to his firm, which then recommended Experian to the state. Nelson Mullins and their attorneys are being paid an estimated $100,000 for its work assisting the state.

…EXPERIAN and two competitors as Thad Westbrook and Cheek said, but NEVER contacted any of them before deciding on Experian.

Neiditz said he first contacted Experian on Oct. 23, three days before the breach was announced.

Etter had told senators during the hearing that Experian was first contacted on Oct. 25.

The Secret Service alerted state officials to the breach on Oct. 10.

“As a result, I don’t think that those business models received full consideration. Neither did other companies.”

The CEOs of Citreas and Identity Force said that their pricing would have been competitive with Experian and their services would have been superior in some ways.

Vendors likely would have been beating down the state’s doors and possibly could have provided a better deal…

Nelson Mullins and their attorneys are being paid an estimated $100,000.00


dm10ae October 28, 2013 at 3:08 am

Haley needs a rest IMO.


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