Equifax to pay $700 million in data-breach settlement

Equifax to pay $700 million in data-breach settlement

The data breach was one of the largest in USA history and was not detected by the company for six weeks. Breached information included Social Security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, and, in some cases, credit card and driver's license numbers. "Any identity theft that occurred that involved the same types of information that occurred after the breach will be reimbursable". It will also provide US consumers with six free credit reports a year and one annual credit report, for seven years.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, a server hosting Equifax's online dispute portal was running software with a known weak spot.

"Equifax put profits over privacy and greed over people, and must be held accountable to the millions of people they put at risk".

Such a severe - and preventable - lapse in security prompted regulators and impacted individuals to take Equifax to task through the legal system.

"This company's ineptitude, negligence, and lax security standards endangered the identities of half the USA population", New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

Equifax says it hasn't seen much of an increase in identity theft, but it is hard to tell precisely who has been affected and how.

You can not file a claim yet. "Equifax must pay a penalty commensurate with the worst data breach in American history", she added.

Customers affected by the breach can seek cash reimbursement for time or money spent trying to fight or avoid fraud. The company will also offer affected consumers extended credit-monitoring services for a total of ten years. Or, you can receive $125 if you already have a credit monitoring service and won't enroll in the free one.

The agency also recommended that people closely monitor their financial accounts and credit scores for unauthorized activity.

Brookman warns consumers to not rely too heavily on credit monitoring. The free copies will be provided to requesting consumers in addition to any free reports to which they are entitled under federal law. Just keep in mind to temporarily unfreeze credit, also free, when applying for a new credit card or loan. The settlement still needs to be approved by the U.S. District Court in Atlanta, according to the statement. "The FTC could not", commission chairman Joseph Simons said. The settlement administrator won't send out any payments until the deadline has passed.

Utah consumers could be in line for reimbursements under a nationwide settlement with Equifax after a 2017 data breach of the credit monitoring company.

For those who suffered financial damages as part of the breach, they can file a claim for up to $20,000 to cover expenses you incurred as part of the breach. That could include signing up for credit monitoring services. You can find more information on the FTC's website.

Consumer advocates said the settlement was modest given the huge number of people affected.

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