Credit Bureaus Unite on Data Security

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U.S. credit bureaus Equifax, Experian and TransUnion said last week that they have teamed to create coordinated encryption standards to protect sensitive consumer information during transmission between the bureaus and data providers.

All three credit-reporting agencies claim to already have had information security standards in line with the Federal Trade Commission's Safeguards Rule, but they said this new move would increase protection for consumers.

Standards used for this effort are Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) encrypted algorithms and a minimum of 128-bit key encryption. AES and 3DES encrypted algorithms that use 128-bit key encryption are widely accepted commercial standards to protect sensitive financial data, the bureaus said. AES and 3DES standards are governed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

In addition, the three credit bureaus formed an encryption task force.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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