ChoicePoint (NYSE:CPS) today announced the appointment of the company's first Consumer Advocate as part of an on-going effort to make the company's processes more transparent to consumers, according to a company news release.
"During hours of conversations with privacy advocates and other interested parties around the country, one issue was consistently raised - the need for us to be more transparent to the consumer and more receptive to their concerns," noted ChoicePoint President and Chief Operating Officer Doug Curling. "With the addition of this position to our executive team, we are fundamentally changing the way that we relate to consumers."Consumer Outreach - Building and maintaining relationships with consumer advocates to create awareness of ChoicePoint's consumer policies and practices; and advise executive management of trends and events affecting consumers and their attitudes toward information use and ChoicePoint.Consumer Advocacy (formerly known as Consumer Disclosure) - Leading the operations teams responsible for assisting affected and curious consumers through call centers and Web sites. (Curious consumers are those who check on their personal data without a current need to do so.)Consumer Assistance - Leading a team that will assist curious consumers in correcting errors that fall outside the scope of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.Internal Awareness - Serving as an internal champion of the benefits of assisting consumers.Consumer Policy - Developing new, and periodically evaluating existing policies regarding curious and affected consumers.
The new consumer advocate will be responsible for five key areas:
Curling also announced the appointment of Katherine Bryant to the new position that carries the title of vice president of consumer advocacy.
Bryant is a veteran member of ChoicePoint's legal team with extensive experience in the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which is the federal law that grants consumers a wide range of rights related to the use of their information when applying for a job, home or auto insurance or a rental residence.
Bryant will report to James E. Lee, ChoicePoint's former chief marketing officer who now assumes broader responsibility beyond brand and corporate reputation as the company's senior vice president and chief public and consumer affairs officer.
"Scholarly research and studies by businesses all make the same point: consumers want - and they deserve - a greater level of visibility into how their personal information is used and how they benefit," Lee said. "Katherine's appointment is the next logical step in our effort to make sure we demonstrate respect for consumers by making it easier to interact with us."
Both Lee and Bryant will assume their new responsibilities immediately. Taking over Lee's role as chief corporate spokesman will be Matt Furman, ChoicePoint's vice president of brand and corporate communications.