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Privacy Policy - Personal Credit Reports

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Activities by Consumers Related to Credit Reports

Effective Date:  October 18, 2013

This privacy policy applies only when you use the US Equifax.com web site to obtain a free or reduced-fee disclosure of your credit file, dispute item(s) on your credit file, request that an initial fraud alert or an active duty alert be placed on your credit file, or take any action associated with a security freeze on your credit file (collectively "Consumer Activities"). This policy does not apply to information submitted or collected through offline channels, such as our call centers or US mail, or to Equifax Personal Solutions products.

Special note for parents: The Equifax web site is a general audience site and is not designed or intended to attract children younger than 13. We do not collect personal information from any person we actually know is younger than 13.

If you have questions or comments about Equifax's privacy policy, please e-mail us at privacy@Equifax.com or write to Chief Privacy Officer, Equifax Inc., 1550 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30309.

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Information Collection and Use

We collect personal and non-personal information on our web site to fulfill your requests and contact you.

There are aspects of our site that can be enjoyed as a visitor, but you need to provide us with personal information in order to perform Consumer Activities associated with your credit file, such as requesting an annual disclosure of your credit file, disputing of information in your credit file, or placing a security freeze or an initial fraud alert.

 

Information We Collect From You

Contacting Equifax with a request:  We receive information from you when you perform one of the Consumer Activities through our site. We also receive information from you when you register for an Equifax Personal Solutions account in order to maintain online access to your free annual credit file disclosure for 30 days. This information may include:

  • First and last name (middle initial and suffix, as applicable);

  • Social Security number;

  • Date of birth;

  • Home telephone number;

  • E-mail address;

  • Current and former mailing address; and

  • Credit card number and expiration date.

 

Identity Verification:  When you request your free annual credit file disclosure, we will verify your identity. We will ask you from two to six multiple-choice questions in which you will need to provide certain information that only you should know. We do this for your protection. The answers to these questions are used to verify your identity and are not provided to any nonaffiliated third party.

Polls and surveys: When you respond to a poll or a survey sponsored by us and/or one of our partners, we may ask you to provide additional information or answer certain questions in order to participate. We may also use the contact information you provide to us to ask whether you would like to participate in future surveys. If we ask for identifying information as part of a survey, we will delete the identifying information after one year and store your answers for up to 7 years.

Log information: When you visit our site, our servers automatically collect log information. This information may include your web page request, Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request, and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser. We collect log information so that we can properly administer our system and gather aggregate information about how our site is being used, including the pages visitors are viewing on our site.

Cookies: We do not use cookies in the areas of the site related to free annual credit file disclosures, dispute resolution, fraud alerts and security freezes.

 

Information We Collect From Others

We also collect information about you from third parties, including AnnualCreditReport.com (the centralized service for consumers to request their free annual credit reports), parties from whom we request information in connection with your request for dispute resolution, the centralized pre-screening opt-out management service, and other credit reporting agencies when you place initial fraud or active duty alerts.

When we associate information that we obtain from third parties with personal information that we have collected under this policy, we will treat the acquired information like the information that we collected ourselves. We will not share information we obtain from third parties in personally identifiable form. However, we may share aggregated, non-personal information as described in this policy, including information we obtained from third parties, in a form that will not allow you to be identified.

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How We Use Collected Information

We use the information we collect about you to administer our web site, improve the user experience, and provide you with the information or services you request.
In connection with your one or more Consumer Activities, we will use your email address to communicate with you regarding the status of your online request.

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To Whom We May Disclose the Information We Collect

We take reasonable precautions to be sure that nonaffiliated third parties and affiliates to whom we disclose your personally identifiable information are aware of our privacy policy and will treat the information in a similarly responsible manner. Our contracts and written agreements with nonaffiliated third parties that receive information from us about you prevent further transfer of the information.

We will not disclose your personal information to third parties except to provide you with the disclosure or service you request, or under certain circumstances as described in this policy.

Providing you with the information or service you request: When you perform a Consumer Activity without becoming a Member of Equifax Personal Solutions, we may disclose any of the information we collect from or about you, as described above, to affiliated companies and to non-affiliated third parties that are not owned or controlled by us (such as a consumer credit reporting agency on the Equifax credit reporting system that owns the credit file, credit grantors and public record vendors). The information provided to affiliates and non-affiliated third parties is disclosed only as required to process and fulfill your requests.  When you register for an Equifax Personal Solutions account in order to maintain online access to your credit report for 30 days, your information will be subject to the Personal Solutions Privacy policy.

Fraud alerts: If you place an initial fraud or active duty alert on your file, we will notify TransUnion and Experian that you have done so in order to enable them to place fraud alerts on your file as well.

Dispute of information in your credit file: When you dispute information in your credit file, we will disclose the information to the organization that provided the disputed data in order to process your request.

Disclosure for legal reasons: We may release personal information to third parties: (1) to comply with valid legal requirements such as a law, regulation, search warrant, subpoena or court order; or (2) in special cases, such as a physical threat to you or others, a threat to homeland security, a threat to our system or network, or cases in which we believe it is reasonably necessary to investigate or prevent harm, fraud, abuse, or illegal conduct.

Agents and contractors: Our contractors sometimes have access to your personal information in the course of assisting in operating our business and providing products or services to you. These contractors include vendors and suppliers that provide us with technology, services, and/or content for the operation and maintenance of our site. Some of these relationships may be with companies that co-brand portions of their site and services, or that provide services to you on our behalf. Co-branded sites may have their own privacy policies posted on their sites. If you visit a co-branded site, please read the privacy policy that is posted on that site. Access to your personal information by these contractors is limited to the information reasonably necessary for the contractor to perform its limited function. Contractors have an obligation under their contracts with us to keep your information confidential and to comply with our privacy and security policies.

Links to other sites: We provide links to other sites, such as AnnualCreditReport.com. When you click on one of those links, we will not provide any personal information about you, but will let the site know that you came from Equifax. We do not control the privacy practices and policies of other sites. Please read their privacy policies in order to understand what information they collect about you and how they use it.

Aggregated, non-personal information: We may share aggregated non-personal information about you with third parties. This is information that is combined with the non-personal information of other users and does not allow you to be identified or contacted. Depending on the circumstances, we may or may not charge third parties for this aggregated information. We also may not limit the third parties' use of the aggregated information.

Changes in our corporate structure: If all or part of our company is sold, merged or otherwise transferred to another entity, the personal information you have provided to us may be transferred as part of that transaction. We will take steps to ensure that, without your consent, any personal information that is transferred will not be used or shared in a manner inconsistent with the Privacy Policy under which it was collected.

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Your Choice and Control Over Your Information

You may decline to provide personal information to us and/or refuse cookies in your browser, although some features or services may not be available to you or may not function properly as a result.

Disabling Cookies:  Your browser software can be set to reject all cookies or to accept cookies only from our site. Most browsers offer instructions on how to set the browser to reject cookies in the "Help" section of the toolbar. If you reject our cookies, you may not be able to log in or use certain functions and conveniences of our site.

Do Not Track signal: We treat the data of everyone who comes to our site in accordance with this privacy policy, whatever their Do Not Track setting. We do not collect information about your online activities across third-party Web sites or online services, and we do not permit others to do so through our web site. Your choices and how you can exercise them are described in this section of our privacy policy.

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Efforts We Make To Safeguard Your Personal Information

We are committed to protecting the security of your information through procedures and technology designed for this purpose by taking these steps:

Before we provide you access to your credit file disclosure, we verify your identity.


What you can do to help keep your information secure

You also have a role in protecting the security of information about you.

Log out and close your browser: Open browsers invite snoops. When you finish your online session, close your browser to erase any information it may have temporarily stored on your computer.

Install antivirus software and spyware protection: Viruses are dangerous. They can slip into your system without your knowledge. Some viruses such as Trojan Horses can capture the contents of your system, including your passwords. Installing up-to-date antivirus software and running it will help thwart these and other unwanted programs.

  • We limit access to your personal information to employees having a reasonable need to access this information to provide products and services to you. Employees who misuse information are subject to disciplinary action, including termination.

  • We have reasonable physical, technical and procedural safeguards to help protect your personal information.

  • In areas that contain your personal information, we use secure socket layer (SSL) encryption to help protect this information while it is in transit between our servers and your computer.

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Changes To This Policy

We may change our privacy policy in the future, but we will not change our practices until they have been posted at this website. If changes occur, we will also show the date of revision. By using our web sites to which this privacy policy applies you agree that we may notify you of changes in our privacy policy through this web site.