Fla. financial services company settles over data breach

Nick Rees Apr. 16, 2010, 2:25pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has announced a settlement with a financial services company that allegedly exposed the personal information of approximately 5.9 million consumer files during a data breach.

Certegy Check Services, Inc., based in St. Petersburg, was alleged to have failed to provide adequate data security for consumer records. Under terms of the settlement, Certegy has agreed to ensure that safeguards are put in place to protect consumer data.

Certegy and Fidelity National Card Services, a related company, are subsidiaries of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. The companies reported in July 2007 that a former company employee had stolen customer data. Certegy promptly notified McCollum and its consumers of the data thefts and fully cooperated with McCollum's investigation.

William Gary Sullivan, the Certegy employee who perpetrated the crime, was convicted of fraud and is currently serving a 57-month sentence in federal prison.

Consumers, as part of a class action settlement in U.S. District Court in Tampa, were given the opportunity to elect credit monitoring for one year or bank account monitoring for two years.

The consumers were also allowed to seek reimbursement for certain out-of-pocket costs incurred or identity theft expenses. Consumers were also able to request credit monitoring at the company's expense immediately after the thefts were announced.

A contribution of $125,000 to McCollum's Seniors vs. Crime Program for educational, investigative and crime prevention programs for the benefit of senior citizens and the community will be made by Certegy, which will also pay $850,000 for the state's investigative costs and attorneys fees.

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