Penn. Fines ChoicePoint $1.3 Million

January 3, 2001

Georgia-based Choice Point Services, accused of breaching its contract with the state of Pennsylvania by putting driver records on the Internet, has agreed to pay a $1.37 million penalty and to adhere to strict conditions to regain limited access to the records.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials made the announcement last week after terminating PennDOT’s contract with ChoicePoint. The state department said the company ignored agency rules about sharing driver records on the Internet. ChoicePoint had been hired to provide driver records to insurance companies, employers and creditors. The state determined through an internal investigation that ChoicePoint had offered Internet access to Pennsylvania driver records to large insurance companies.

Under a proposed agreement announced by PennDOT on Wednesday, the company will pay a $1.37 million penalty and will provide Pennsylvania driver records to insurance companies only for insurance- related purposes. The company will also not be allowed to provide employment records or credit checks as allowed under its previous contract for at least one year.

The agency is also prohibiting the ChoicePoint employees who managed the Pennsylvania account when the Internet problem was discovered from having any association with Pennsylvania records.

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