First tool of its kind in Australia streamlines the administration of consumer correction requests following introduction of Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012
Sydney, Australia, 12 December 2013 — Experian, the global information services company, today announced the launch of its Corrections Exchange, aimed at simplifying the corrections process after the introduction of comprehensive credit reporting in March 2014. The Corrections Exchange was developed after consultation with major credit providers including Experian’s credit bureau joint-venture partners*. It is the first of its kind in Australia.
Under the new Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012, credit providers have an obligation to help people who think that their credit report contains inaccurate information. For example, an individual may have been a joint account holder which has subsequently changed. The individual has the right to request the information to be corrected by removing their name on the account. Credit providers are required to respond to an individual’s correction request within 30 days, during which time they may need to contact other lenders or the holder of the information to determine the accuracy of the disputed information. Once a decision has been determined, the credit provider has five working days to inform the consumer of the outcome. Failure to meet obligations may result in material breach penalties of up to $1.7m per case**.
“The legislation is an important step in empowering individuals to ensure the personal details on their credit profile are accurate. We developed the Corrections Exchange as an innovative response to the changes that will come into effect. It has been designed to free up credit providers from heavy administrative and compliance burdens so they can focus on their core business”, explained Kim Jenkins, Managing Director of Experian A/NZ.
To ensure the obligations can be met, credit providers will need to maintain up-to-date contact lists for other credit providers and credit reporting bodies, case management and storage systems and ensure tracking and reporting processes are in place from the commencement of the amended Privacy Act in March 2014.
Kim continued: “Experian’s Corrections Exchange will improve operational efficiencies by simplifying the management of correction requests and will mitigate the credit provider’s financial, operational and compliance risk. Being responsive to these requests is critical but, without an effective tool to automate, track and facilitate correction requests, this requirement represents a potentially significant administrative burden which will lead to inefficiencies and inconsistencies in the process. There are approximately 6,000 credit providers in Australia and many smaller organisations will be challenged to meet these obligations on their own”.
The Corrections Exchange will use standardised data and processes consistent with industry requirements and will enhance the management of correction requests through a central registry of credit providers and credit reporting bodies. The registry contains details of participating credit providers and routes correction requests to an appropriate team within each credit lending organisation. The Exchange will also maintain information and reporting on requests processed to support credit providers in meeting their reporting obligations.
To ensure correction obligations are met within the specified timeframes within the Privacy Act, the Corrections Exchange will send time-based reminder alerts to credit providers to escalate case urgency. The Corrections Exchange has been designed to streamline the corrections process, including automation of the notifications to consumers of the outcome of their request.
*Experian’s credit bureau joint-venture partners include ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth Bank Australia, NAB, Citibank and GE.
**CSO Online, David Brau, ‘OAIC gets cracking on raising awareness of new privacy laws’, 30 April 2013. (http://www.cso.com.au/article/460469/oaic_gets_cracking_raising_awareness_new_privacy_laws/)
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Experian is the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to clients around the world. The Group helps businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. Experian also helps individuals to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended 31 March 2013 was US$4.7 billion. Experian employs approximately 17,000 people in 40 countries and has its corporate headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
For more information, visit http://www.experianplc.com.