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A federal watchdog says the government should stop relying on the credit agencies to verify the identifies of those using government services.
In a report out this week, the the Government Accountability Office said several government departments still rely on the credit agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — to check if a person is who they say they are before they can access their services online.
Agencies - US - Postal - Service - Social
Agencies like the U.S. Postal Service, the Social Security Administration, Veterans Affairs, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ask several questions of a new user and match their answers to information held in an individual’s credit file. The logic is that these credit files have information only the person signing up for services can know.
But following the Equifax breach in 2017 those answers are no longer safe, the watchdog said.
Equifax - Breach - Theft - Consumers - Consumer
The Equifax breach resulted in the theft of 148 million consumers. Much of the consumer financial data had been collected without the explicit permission of those whose data it held. An investigation later found the breach was “entirely preventable” had the credit agency employed basic security measures.
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