LifeLock Plans To Defend Their Name -and ours!

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(See UPDATE below) An Exclusive interview with Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock

April 2, 2008- Over the past 30 days, LifeLock has been hit with three separate lawsuits over the company's identity theft prevention service. The first suit was filed by Experian; claiming that LifeLock is violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act and costing Experian money by filing fraud alerts for LifeLock's customers every 90 days. The two consumer suits claim that LifeLock's guarantees to protect consumers are riddled with fine print and misleading. In an exclusive interview, LifeLock's CEO Todd Davis told us that he is ready for these fights and he set the record straight about the company's service offerings, including upcoming product launches and its growing place in the market.

The Experian law suit (which we have previously reported on) appears to hinge on language within the FCRA which states that consumers must have a reasonable expectation that they could become victims of fraud or identity theft. In addition, Experian is claiming that LifeLock is using fraud alerts in ways never intended by Congress.

The two consumer lawsuits take aim at LifeLock's $1 million guarantee. The consumers filing the suits claim that it is misleading and that the guarantee only covers problems caused by the failure of LifeLock's service. They are saying that it is essentially worthless. But that doesn't appear to be what more than 800,000 subscribers think.

Although Davis wouldn't specifically comment on any of the law suits, our conversation did cover FCRA issues as well as consumer issues included in the suits. With regard to the FCRA, Davis told us that when customers sign-up for LifeLock, they are required to provide a specific reason - such as being notified that their personal data was leaked in a data breach - that they need LifeLock's services. Any customer that refuses to provide such a reason will be turned down for service. This certainly sounds like it complies with the FCRA's "good faith" language. If so, LifeLock is using fraud alerts in the way that Congress intended when it passed the law.

When asked about the company's $1 million guarantee, Davis said that the purpose of it was to make sure that if any of the company's customers experience any type of fraud or identity theft while subscribing to LifeLock, the company will work to restore their credit and make them whole financially. The guarantee includes hiring outside resources as necessary to assist in fixing any credit problems that have occurred and to put the criminals responsible in jail.

Davis pointed out "the company now has more than 870,000 customers and that by the FTC's statistics, more than 29,000 of them should have been victims of fraud or identity theft. In the history of LifeLock, only 71 of the company's customers have had to invoke the guarantee." This certainly would indicate that LifeLock is extremely effective at putting the brakes on identity theft before it occurs.

LifeLock intends to fight all three of the law suits vigorously. Davis did say that the company has access to a variety of great resources to help them in this fight and that the company's investors remain steadfastly supportive. It's interesting to note that just today; The Identity Theft Research Center released a report indicating that data breaches more than doubled in the first quarter of 2008. That information alone is alarming and enough to make one fear they are in imminent danger of becoming an identity theft victim.

Denise Richardson, Board Member of
Jim Malmberg, Executive DirectorACCESS

UPDATE: Please note that this blog was written in 2008. My views on identity theft protection services have greatly changed, as did the services offered, the policies and less than transparent partnerships. In an effort to ensure these older blogs don't mislead readers, please take time to check the date of any blog relating to identity theft protection services. Anything dated pre-2012 that has not been updated, should NOT be considered as an accurate portrayal of today's informed opinions.

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