April 12, 2005- LexisNexis Personal Data Theft Scandal Ten Times Bigger than Announced

WASHINGTON, DC-- LexisNexis and associated data broker Reed Elsevier Group PLC announced today that up to 10 times as many people as originally thought may have had their profiles stolen from one of its U.S. databases. A month after LexisNexis announced that identity thieves accessed personal information for 32,000 of its customers, the company revised its calculations announcing that nearly 310,000 customers may have been affected by the security breach.

“How many times must Americans have their most private information: tax records, social security numbers, financial information, health records handed over to thieves in order for companies like LexisNexis to start establishing protections for consumers?” asked Representative Ed Markey.

“LexisNexis has turned a blind eye to protecting its customers, once again. There is no excuse for their lack of action – this abuse of privacy of hundreds of thousands of Americans must stop. The identities of Americans are valued personal possessions, not some product to be carelessly bought and sold and tossed to the wind when they are not useful to these companies.”

Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus and author of the Information Protection and Security Act legislation (H.R. 1080) designed to provide greater protections for consumer data announced his plans to launch new legislation to protect consumers against privacy theft that occurs when personal data is off shored to countries with no privacy protection laws.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s legislation to protect consumer privacy check out: http://www.house.gov/markey/

April 12, 2005
 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness