Concept

Equifax

Summary
Equifax Inc. is an American multinational consumer credit reporting agency headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and is one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies, along with Experian and TransUnion (together known as the "Big Three"). Equifax collects and aggregates information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide. In addition to credit and demographic data and services to business, Equifax sells credit monitoring and fraud prevention services directly to consumers. Equifax operates or has investments in 24 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Asia Pacific. With over 14,000 employees worldwide, Equifax has nearly US$5 billion in annual revenue and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EFX. Equifax was founded by Cator and Guy Woolford in Atlanta, Georgia, as Retail Credit Company in 1899. By 1920, the company had offices throughout the United States and Canada. By the 1960s, Retail Credit Company was one of the nation's largest credit bureaus, holding files on millions of American and Canadian citizens. Even though the company continued to do credit reporting, the majority of its business was making reports to insurance companies when people applied for new insurance policies, such as life, auto, fire and medical insurance. RCC also investigated insurance claims and made employment reports when people were seeking new jobs. Most of the credit work was then being done by a subsidiary, Retailers Commercial Agency. Retail Credit Company's information holdings and willingness to sell its information attracted criticism in the 1960s and 1970s. These included that it collected "... facts, statistics, inaccuracies and rumors ... about virtually every phase of a person's life; his marital troubles, jobs, school history, childhood, sex life, and political activities." The company was also alleged to reward its employees for collecting derogatory information on consumers. This lead to discrimination against homosexuals, queers, and people of color.
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