Word of the Day: Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

Word of the Day

Daily updates on the latest technology terms |September 20, 2017

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is United States federal legislation that promotes accuracy, fairness and privacy for data used by consumer reporting agencies. Consumer reporting agencies include credit bureaus and financial agencies that collect, store, use and disseminate consumer information for use in background checks.

Until the 1970s when FCRA was enacted, consumer reporting agencies had the power to decide what information they gathered would be shared with the consumer. Consumer rights under the FCRA stipulate that:


  • The consumer must be told if information in his file has been used against him. Anyone who uses a credit report or another type of consumer report to deny a consumer's application for credit, insurance, or employment must tell the consumer and must give him the name, address, and phone number of the agency that provided the information.
  • The consumer has the right to know what is in his file. The consumer may request and obtain all the information about him in the files of a consumer reporting agency after providing proper identification. Consumers are entitled to one free disclosure every 12 months upon request from each nationwide credit bureau and from nationwide specialty consumer reporting agencies.
  • The consumer has the right to ask for a credit score. Credit scores are numerical summaries of credit-worthiness based on information from credit bureaus.
  • The consumer has the right to dispute incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • If a consumer reporting agency violates the FCRA, the consumer has the right to take legal action and seek financial remuneration for damages per-violation.

The FCRA limits access to a consumer's file by stipulating that a consumer reporting agency may provide information only to people with a valid need, which is defined in the legislation. It's up to each state to enforce the FCRA and in some cases, the consumer may have more rights under state law.

Quote of the Day

"Most of the lawsuits [over the Equifax data breach] allege that Equifax violated the FCRA, which Equifax has pushed Congress to amend so that damages in class actions brought under the statute would be capped." - Amanda Bronstad


Trending Terms

identity theft
personally identifiable information
data breach
consumer privacy


Learning Center

Equifax breach response deemed insufficient in multiple ways
Experts said the Equifax breach response has been lacking due to the company being unprepared for the attack and unable to be transparent enough in the aftermath.

Apache Struts vulnerability blamed for Equifax data breach
Equifax admitted the major data breach affecting 143 million U.S. citizens was caused by a critical Apache Struts vulnerability that was left unpatched.

FTC: Analyzing big data creates discrimination risk
Companies are reaping the benefits of dissecting consumer information, but the FTC is warning companies about the discrimination risks of analyzing big data.

Data-driven decision-making in the face of catastrophe
Data-driven decision-making meets Mother Nature. Plus: Equifax breach, Amazon's HQ2 and federal regs for driverless cars.

Risk & Repeat: Equifax data breach response called into question
This Risk & Repeat podcast episode discusses the Equifax data breach and why the company's response to the event has raised big questions.

Quiz Yourself

This a kind of malware that is designed to collect information and data on users and observe their activity without users' knowledge.
a. spyware
b. phishing


Stay In Touch

For feedback about any of our definitions or to suggest a new definition, please contact me at: mrouse@techtarget.com


Visit the Word of the Day Archives and catch up on what you've missed!







No hay comentarios.

Imágenes del tema de enot-poloskun. Con tecnología de Blogger.