Breaking News

Toronto Load More

OntarioLoad More

CanadaLoad More



Friday, April 26, 2013

Equifax & Unnamed Sources Are Now in Violation of Privacy Rights, Have You Been A Victim?


TRAUMATIC DISCOVERY!
Credit report lists woman's PTSD as her employer
TORONTO SUN - Laura Feeney did a double-take when she saw it.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It’s a medical condition she’s struggled with for years, and there it was for any potential lender or creditor to see on her Equifax credit report, strangely listed as her current employer.
“I thought to myself, wait a minute, that is medical information,” Feeney said. “How the heck did that get on there?”
So Feeney called the company, which provides credit reports to consumers and creditors alike, hoping to have the improper disclosure removed. But to her surprise a customer representative with the firm said the line could not be removed and they would not tell her who put it in the document, she said.
“People try very hard to keep their information personal,” Feeney said. “For that to show up on my credit bureau, in front of the world and people who access my file, what business is it of theirs that I have post traumatic stress disorder?”
In its privacy policy, Equifax states that it does not collect health information.
Feeney was the victim of a violent assault while working as a delivery truck driver in July 2008. She was diagnosed with PTSD in August 2010 and has battled its symptoms ever since, she said.
“I want to know how my post traumatic stress disorder showed up on my credit bureau (report),” she said. “It should have nothing to do with my credit worthiness.”
Abby Deshman, program director with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, said this is a violation of Feeney’s rights.
“To me, it seems very clear that information is not supposed to be on your Equifax reporting form,” Deshman said. “The fact that it is included is extremely concerning.”
Deshman said she’s never heard of an instance like this, but the CCLA has been working to ensure police background checks don’t violate individual privacy by including too much information. In those instances, the results can be very damaging, she said.
“We know that medical information and specifically mental health information that is included on police background checks can and does lead to discrimination,” she said. “The same concerns would apply to credit checks.”
Because Equifax’s privacy policy explicitly says they will not disclose medical information they should be able to fix this issue, Deshman said.
“Companies, including credit agencies, hold an enormous amount of personal information,” she said. “What they do with that, how they’re treating that, and whether they’re complying with their own policies and the law is incredibly important.”
The Toronto Sun first contacted Equifax’s media hotline for comment April 18 and then again Wednesday via telephone and e-mail.
Equifax’s manager of public relations and communications, Tom Carroll, responded on Thursday but requested more time to conduct an internal investigation.
Meanwhile, Feeney said she has retained legal counsel and filed a complaint with the federal privacy commissioner.
She said she worries that if she doesn’t speak up, others might be afraid to voice their concerns over similar privacy violations.
“If it’s happened to me, who else is there?” Feeney said.
Share This
Blogger
Facebook
Disqus

comments powered by Disqus

No comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe
Stay Connected
Featured

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

© The Toronto Post All rights reserved