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  1. The Fair Credit Reporting Act.


    (a). Note 1 at page 94. Do you believe it was fair to charge Spokeo with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act? Briefly describe the elements of the offense, the precise issue, and then give concise reasons to support your answer (and what, exactly, would we mean by “fair” in this context?).

    (b). Note 2 at p. 123. Do you believe the damages assessed to Equifax were proportionate to Equifax’s contribution to Sloane’s ordeal? (Note that there was a thief involved). Should it make any difference that Equifax may have had “1.5 billion credit accounts held by approximately 190 million individuals…[and] receives more than two billion items of information every month” and that Equifax issues its share of the “approximately two million credit reports each day”? (see p. 121 of our text). Who do you think will ultimately bear the cost of the judgment entered against Equifax?

    C) Other Federal and State Laws. Answer this :

    Note 1 at p. 139. What kind of “reasonable” practical steps might a bank take to make sure the person to whom it issues a credit card is, in fact, the intended person? How much do you think it would cost, and would you as a credit card customer be willing to pay your share of the cost by way of increased fees or higher interest rates on your card? (note the “LoPucki-Solove debate” is excerpted at pp. 135-36). (Would you rather simply pay one of the “identity protection” firms instead, and accept your loses if you didn’t do so?)

    Source is : Solove & Schwartz, “Consumer Privacy and Data Protection (third edition)



Subject Business Pages 4 Style APA


Fair Credit Reporting Act

For forty years, FCRA has safeguarded individuals from a range of explicit, distinct harms triggered by a robust but obscure consumer reporting structure. Hence Congress integrated a private right of action in this legislation to guarantee that persons could vindicate their rights and preserve the credit industry and other FCRA-supervised entities. This paper discusses the case studies that highlight the application of various FCRA-regulated laws.

Question a

Yes, it was fair to charge Spokeo with violating the FCRA because the company breached FCRA  15 U.S.C. § 1681 that demands that consumer reporting agencies adhere to reasonable processes in assuring maximum likely information accuracy regarding the individual whom the report associates. The FCRA breaches comprise failing to ensure that the information Spokeo sold was for legally lawful uses only, failing to guarantee that the information was truthful, and failing to inform users of the purchaser reports regarding their responsibilities under FCRA (Solove & Schwartz, 2020).

Likewise, Spokeo fraudulently posted endorsements of their service on news and technology platforms and blogs, depicting the authorizations as independent when in actuality, they were made by Spokeo’s workforce. Spokeo collected consumer data from online and offline platforms like social media platforms and data brokers to design consumer profiles for sale to third parties. Spokeo sold these profiles to HR professionals, marketed as a valuable element in deciding if to interview a candidate. Spokeo likewise committed most of its website to recruiters and provided exceptional subscription plans to those recruiters.  FCRA section 603(d) 15 U.S.C. § 1681 a(d) defines the consumer profiles Spokeo gives to third parties as consumer reports (Soukup et al., 2019).  In 2010, Spokeo revised its website Terms of Service to indicate that it is not a purchaser reporting agency and the Spokeo could not be utilized for FCRA-regulated reasons. But as per the complaint, Spokeo failed to ensure that third parties never used its website and data accessible for FCRA-regulated reasons.

Question b

Yes, the damage assessed to Equifax was proportionate to Equifax’s contribution to Sloane’s ordeal because the case does not entail actual defamation. But considering the board corroboration given at trial regarding the several months of emotional distress, psychological anguish, and humiliation Suzanne suffered, the award is proportionate to her ordeal. The repeated breaches of the FCRA the jury found in its special verdict, the several errors in Equifax’s credit reports, and the protracted period in which Equifax failed in amending Suzanne’s credit file justifies Equifax’s contribution.

 Since the mid-1980s, the electronic IT and data-warehousing introduction led to the countrywide merging of the credit reporting market into Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian. They made credit reporting an essential component of the most ordinary consumer transactions (Solove & Schwartz, 2020). These three credit reporting agencies have 1.5 billion credit accounts held by roughly a 190million persons, and each gets over two billion information items a month. Also, these agencies give around two million consumer credit reports daily. Hence it is against this background that identity theft has arisen over the last decade as amongst the fastest rising white-collar wrongdoings in America. Because of the quick emergence of identity theft in the previous decade, it is not surprising that past example fails in entirely reflecting the present disastrous reality.

a review of other more current FCRA lawsuits that entail remittitur requests of emotional suffering awards propose that sanctioned awards more normally range between $20,000 and $75,000. (Solove & Schwartz, 2020) However, whereas these cases are helpful, they differ from the cases at hand. For dissimilar to the plaintiffs in those cases, Suzanne never suffered from exceptional or accidental reporting mistakes. Instead, as an identity theft victim, she sustained the systematic maneuvering of her data which, notwithstanding her best efforts, Equifax failed in correcting over a protracted period. Indeed, Equifax bears no obligation for the first theft. However, the FCRA makes the firm accountable for taking practical steps in amending Suzanne’s credit report once she notified the company of the robbery, which Equifax ultimately failed to do.

Question c

A bank can take reasonable practical steps to ensure the person who issues the card is the intended person by verifying a credit account application’s authenticity and precision before issuing a credit card.  As a credit card customer, I am aware that credit card issuers charge fees from interest charges to over-the-limit fees and beyond, centered on managing my account. So, to avoid most of these fees, I would use my credit card responsibly. Lynn LoPucki and Solove concur that social security numbers’ constant usage causes identity theft as identifiers. LoPucki argues that the thieves are not the problem but that credit and credit-reporting agencies always lack the methods and the incentives to correctly identify individuals seeking credit from them or on whom they report. LoPucki proposes that the challenge is triggered by the absence of a dependable identification method. He suggests a framework where the government preserves an identification information database to submit personal data (Solove & Schwartz, 2020). Solove contents that more sophisticated identification frameworks came with challenges like a rise in data collection concerning persons and violent spouses’ inability to hide. But both Solove and LoPucki contend that identity theft is mainly triggered by the system the credit is given in America.


The case studies discussed above highlight the importance of following FCRA regulations to avoid lawsuits. The key to reducing legal risks is to become hyper-vigilant concerning compliance with the hyper-technical FCRA.



Solove, D. J., & Schwartz, P. M. (2020). Consumer privacy and data protection. Aspen Publishers.

Soukup, A., Stein, D. A., & Bartholomew, L. C. (2019). Fair Credit Reporting Act and Financial Privacy Update-2018. Bus. Law.74, 495.



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