- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Experian is facing an undisclosed number of class-action lawsuits as a result of the security breach that allowed hackers to compromise the personal information of 15 million T-Mobile applicants, the credit firm said this week.

In its six-month financial report released by Experian on Tuesday, the company said it’s received “a number of class actions in respect of the data breach and is currently working with regulators and government bodies as part of their investigations.”

“It is currently not possible to predict the scope and effect on the Group of these various regulatory and government investigations and legal actions, including their timing and scale,” the company said.

Experian in contracted by T-Mobile to processes credit checks for the telecom, but a security breach announced last month had let hackers access the personal records of roughly 15 million applicants, including their Social Security numbers and other sensitive data.

“Experian has files on more than 220 million people. Protection of this information is of the utmost importance, especially because the scope of the information is vast and virtually no consumer can apply for credit without entering your system,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio Democrat, wrote in a letter to Experian CEO Brian Cassin last month.

Although Experian’s report does not specifically state how many class-action suits it faces, Bloomberg reported last month that no fewer than six claims had been filed in court within one week of the breach being revealed on Oct. 1.

“What makes the most recent breach so ironic is that Experian holds itself out as an expert in the field of data protection, touting its revenues in this area in the amount of $4 billion annually,” Bloomberg quoted from one of the complaints.

Experian said the one-off costs incurred by responding to the breach has amounted to roughly $20 million.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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