When retired web developer Catherine Kunicki tried to sign up for her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in downtown Brooklyn, the AdvantageCare Physicians website rejected her. She received an error message that her identity couldn’t be verified through Experian, a credit monitoring company.
The website claims that AdvantageCare Physicians does not get information about a patient’s credit score. But Experian is a credit reporting company and big data company, and the tool the vaccine scheduling website is using verifies identities by using information that shows up in people’s Experian credit histories.
This is a problem for a lot of reasons. One-in-five Americans is “credit invisible” or has poor credit. Black Americans are more likely to have poor credit; they are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19.