Magazine article American Banker

Equifax Exec Is Putting an Emphasis on Privacy

Magazine article American Banker

Equifax Exec Is Putting an Emphasis on Privacy

Article excerpt

John A. Ford has been quietly shepherding Equifax Inc.'s privacy policies as vice president of privacy and external affairs.

Mr. Ford in June succeeded John Baker, a senior vice president who retired after 35 years with the Atlanta-based company. Although dealing with privacy issues was among Mr. Baker's responsibilities, it is a principal part of Mr. Ford's job, he said. His duties also include relations with government and with consumer groups.

Mr. Ford, 51, was previously vice president of corporate public affairs. Equifax did not publicly announce Mr. Ford's new position, viewing it simply as an internal reshuffling, but indeed Mr. Ford's title reflects the company's greater focus on privacy.

Equifax's consumer privacy initiatives were formerly part of a larger function under the office of public affairs, which included government, public and internal relations. Now Mr. Ford will focus exclusively on federal and state regulators, consumer advocates, and consumer protection agencies. He will not be responsible for public affairs.

Equifax, like its competitors, TRW Inc. of Orange, Calif., and Trans Union Corp. of Chicago, is still attempting to dispel a negative perception of the credit bureau business.

The three major credit bureaus were subjects of a four-year Federal Trade Commission investigation, which focused on how they collect and disseminate information about consumers.

Subsequently, the credit bureaus began to develop privacy policies, appointing privacy ombudsmen, and reformed some of the business practices that were seen as invasive to consumers. …

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