Equifax announced Monday that is acquired TrustedID, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based specialist in identity protection.

TrustedID will become part of Equifax Personal Solutions, a direct-to-consumer business unit that offers credit monitoring and identity protection solutions. TrustedID has gathered an estimated $20 million in funding from investors since it was founded in 2004. While it has been profitable in the past, more recently it has not been as it has expanded its offerings. Equifax officials did not disclose terms of the deal but some industry observers peg the price at roughly $30 million in cash.

Equifax has indicated in the past that it sees the personal data security market as a growth opportunity, and has made investments—in both acquisitions and product development.

Equifax's interest in the smaller company is threefold: its technology is robust, its existing partner relationships (including an exclusive deal with AARP to offer credit and identity theft protection to more than 37 million members) are coveted and Equifax's own credit and identity products could use reinforcement. TrustedID's data protection abilities reach far, from social media to snail mail.

"In today's digital economy and culture, Americans are becoming increasingly aware of identity, reputation and privacy issues," TrustedID chief executive Scott Mitic said in a statement. TrustedID’s 30 employees will remain at its Palo Alto headquarters.

TrustedID sells a suite of identity protection solutions centering on identity theft, ability to monitor online reputation on social media services and privacy protection to about one million consumers.  

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