JACKSONVILLE, Fla., July 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Fidelity National
Information Services, Inc. (NYSE: FIS), announced today that its
subsidiary, Certegy Check Services, Inc. ("Certegy"), a service provider to
U.S. retail merchants, based in St. Petersburg, Florida, was victimized by
a former employee who misappropriated and sold consumer information to a
data broker who in turn sold a subset of that data to a limited number of
direct marketing organizations. The incident does not involve any outside
intrusion into, or compromise of, Certegy's technology systems.
"As a result of this apparent theft, the consumers affected received
marketing solicitations from the companies that bought the data," said Renz
Nichols, President of Certegy Check Services. "We have no reason to believe
that the theft resulted in any subsequent fraudulent activity or financial
damage to the consumer, and we are taking the necessary steps to see that
any further use of the data stops."
Certegy maintains bank account information in connection with its check
authorization business that helps merchants to decide whether to accept
checks as payment for goods and services. In addition, Certegy maintains
check and credit card information in connection with its gaming operations
that are designed to assist casinos in providing their customers with
access to funds.
This theft came to light when one of Certegy's retail check processing
customers alerted Certegy to a correlation between a small number of check
transactions and the receipt by the retailer's customers of direct
telephone solicitations and mailed marketing materials. Certegy launched an
immediate investigation and was unable to detect any breach of its security
systems and, thereafter, engaged a forensic investigator to validate its
findings. Unable to detect any compromise in its firewalls and other system
security measures, Certegy requested that the U.S. Secret Service contact
the marketing companies in question to trace the source of the data. The
Secret Service was able to identify the company supplying the information
and, with further assistance from Certegy, determined that the company was
owned and operated by a Certegy employee. The employee was a senior level
database administrator who was entrusted with defining and enforcing data
access rights. To avoid detection, the technician removed the information
from Certegy's facility via physical processes; not electronic
Although the employee was authorized to access the consumer information
in order to perform his job responsibilities, the removal and unlawful use
of that information were, obviously, outside the scope of his employment
and Certegy's knowledge. This unlawful transfer of company information
violated the individual's confidentiality commitment to Certegy and is a
severe breach of fiduciary duty. As a result, the employee was terminated.
Certegy is taking appropriate steps to hold the dismissed employee
responsible for his actions.
No Evidence of Fraud
The misappropriated information included names, addresses, and
telephone numbers as well as, in many cases, dates of birth and bank
account or credit card information. Approximately 2.3 million records are
believed to be at issue, with approximately 2.2 million containing bank
account information and 99,000 containing credit card information. The
company is still investigating the time period over which the
While Certegy's investigation continues, it has seen no evidence that
bank account or credit card information was used for anything other than
marketing purposes, and is unaware of any instance of identity theft or
fraudulent financial activity. Most importantly, Certegy is doing
everything possible to ensure that any inconvenience experienced by
consumers is minimized.
Certegy is committed to a disciplined action plan designed to minimize
the impact of the misappropriated consumer information, particularly to
- Certegy has filed a civil complaint in St. Petersburg, Florida against
the former employee and the marketing companies believed to have
received the misappropriated data seeking retrieval of all consumer
information as well as an injunction against any use.
- Certegy has contacted the applicable marketing companies in order to
obtain the return of all consumer information.
- Certegy proactively engaged law enforcement and is encouraging
- Certegy is in the process of making any required notifications to
governing state regulatory agencies.
- Certegy has alerted the nation's three major credit reporting agencies,
TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.
- Certegy has notified Visa and MasterCard of the incident.
- Certegy is establishing a procedure for financial institutions to
obtain information about their customers' accounts so that they can
place them on an active fraud watch.
- Certegy will be personally notifying all affected consumers of this
misappropriation, and establishing a toll-free hotline to answer
- Certegy has implemented a fraud watch on its internal systems for those
checking accounts that are implicated.
- Certegy continually reviews its security policies, and is taking steps
to help prevent future incidents.
- Certegy continues to confirm that there was no financial or identity
theft caused by this incident; only the improper use of information for
telemarketing and mail solicitations.
Based on the investigation to date, Certegy does not expect that the
costs to implement this action plan will materially impact financial
Certegy will host a news conference via telephone (800) 289-0544 at
ET, Tuesday, July 3, 2007.
Certegy is a conscientious company that takes its responsibility to
protect and preserve consumer information very seriously. It carefully
selects and screens employee candidates, monitors and supervises employees,
and maintains a whistleblower hotline for employees to report fraudulent or
criminal activity. Certegy also encourages its employees to report any
improper behavior they witness. We regret this unfortunate incident
happened despite all of these efforts. Resolving this matter and
implementing additional safeguards is the company's highest priority.
"I am extremely proud of the employees and law enforcement officials
who are working diligently to uncover the facts in this incident. On behalf
of Fidelity National Information Services and our Certegy subsidiary, I
want to express my deep sadness and heartfelt apology over this incident,"
said Lee A. Kennedy, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fidelity
National Information Services. "We will do everything possible to ensure no
consumer is harmed because of this horrible betrayal."
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve a
number of risks and uncertainties. Statements that are not historical
facts, including statements about our beliefs and expectations, are
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on
management's beliefs, as well as assumptions made by, and information
currently available to, management. Because such statements are based on
expectations and are not statements of fact, actual events and results may
differ materially from those projected. We undertake no obligation to
update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise. The risks and uncertainties which
forward-looking statements are subject to include, but are not limited to,
the possibility that additional facts are discovered in our continuing
investigation and the reactions of consumers, regulators and others to the
events described above.
SOURCE Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.