Eric Haller is the Executive Vice President & General Manager of Identity, Fraud & DataLabs at Experian. He oversees the identity & fraud business, which helps companies prevent identity fraud and crime, and DataLabs, which is responsible for R&D. Prior to Experian, Eric was responsible for new products with Sequoia Capital-backed Green Dot, where he created and brought to market the first credit card a consumer could purchase off of a j-hook in a retailer. Eric also co-founded identity fraud detection business iDawg, which was later renamed ID Analytics. ID Analytics was acquired by LifeLock and is now part of Symantec. Other roles held by Eric include Chief Marketing Officer of HNC Software (acquired by FICO) and executive roles with Visa & MasterCard. Eric holds a B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University and an M.S. in Technology Management from Columbia University; he is also a member of the University’s School of Professional Studies Board of Overseers.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Experian?
I am the Executive Vice President & General Manager of Identity, Fraud & DataLabs at Experian. Our identity and fraud businesses help companies prevent identity fraud and crime. Experian DataLabs is a group I launched in 2010 and is the research and development branch of Experian. We have four labs located in San Diego, London, São Paulo and Singapore. DataLabs is responsible for developing innovative products generated from breakthrough experimentation leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced analytics and data assets from a variety of sources. New products are developed in the labs and they cover mobile, payments, consumer & commercial credit, fraud, targeted marketing & healthcare.
2. Tell us about digital identification and why is it useful?
Digital identification is how companies validate peoples’ identities online. Simple tools include passwords and security questions, while more complex identification looks at IP addresses, device IDs and GPS coordinates.
Identification is important because companies need to make sure they are interacting with who they believe they are in order to reduce fraud.
3. What is your take on the topic “Covid 19 and Digital Shift”?
COVID-19 accelerated the race to digital. People began to do more and more transactions online, and these became the standard. This transformation is likely to only increase, even as we return to the new normal. Companies need to adapt in order to stay relevant, and in order to prevent fraud.
4. How does digital identification help in a business?
Digital identification can almost create a “fraud-free” environment for businesses. Strong fraud prevention systems mean that businesses can serve more authentic customers. If an experience is safe and simple for a legitimate customer, both the organization and the consumer conduct “fraud-free” business.
5. Tell us about new trends in digital identification?
AI is increasing used to help validate digital identity. Hundreds of data elements are being used to assess whether an individual is a bot and AI helps to analyze this and quickly evaluate whether the identity can be verified.
Behavior biometrics are also becoming more mainstream, and they capture data such as how you interact with your mouse and keyboard and how fast you are typing, among other things, and then use that to verify identification.
Blockchain also appears to be in the next wave of digital identification. However, both companies and consumers would need to invest in this technology and be willing to share their identity in order for it to be successful.
6. Tell us about the rise in digital transactions. How much has it evolved compared to pre pre-pandemic era?
Because of lockdown mandates and our focus on safety, digital-first became the norm during the pandemic compared to the pre-pandemic era. According to our annual Global Identity & Fraud Report, we saw a 20% increase in online shopping this past year, coupled with 43% of consumers believing they will even increase their online activity over the next year. With this shift, 55% of consumers say security is their top priority in a digital experience.
7. Why is it so critical to identify people and what device they are using ?
It is so critical because companies need to ensure they are not interacting with a bot or a fraudster in order to reduce scams, keep a person’s real identity secure, and minimize money loss associated with fraud.
8. What is Deepfake AI technology?
It is a merging of two technologies – deep learning, which is the AI we see every day, combined with ‘fakes’ – fake video, audio or pictures. Deepfake technology is an emerging channel for fraud and essentially fake content created to produce a reaction. This is of increasing concern as more content is consumed and can have a more significant impact on everyday consumers’ lives. Right now, we are seeing this technology being used for “one-way deception,” where someone is manipulating the user. We haven’t yet reached the point of “two-way deception,” where the deepfake content will ask for something in return from the user, such as money, and the user may be tricked into providing it. Deepfake technology is extremely concerning and companies and governments need to act to mitigate risks.
9. What Experience is doing to mitigate fraud and identity theft?
We provide innovative technology services to businesses, which helps them prevent fraud by identifying authentic customers and applying the correct action to the riskiest consumer and business accounts. Experian helps companies develop a layered risk management strategy.
10. What is the future of Digital Identification?
The future of digital identification will need to provide verification for both known and unknown components. Known components include social security numbers and credit card numbers, while unknown parts include things such as mobile usage and our faces on social media. The future will need to verify both.
11. Why is it so important to balance safety and convenience?
Consumer security is always a priority; however, consumers also want a simple experience and one where security measures are unnoticed. If they become frustrated, they may use a different company to meet their needs or skip crucial identification steps.
12. Health care system is growing day by day in terms of technology. What advantage is Healthcare system in today’s digital era?
Healthcare is becoming more and more digitized. The COVID-19 pandemic has created an increase in the usage of patient portals and telehealth. Patients now expect a certain level of flexibility, personalization and convenience, while feeling confident their information is safe and secure.
A robust identity management program is also important to achieving an accurate, comprehensive and secure view of the patient.
Additionally, being able to correctly link disparate clinical and non-clinical data across silos will generate the single best, most accurate patient record and ultimately improve the patient experience.