IL gets share of $700M Equifax data breach settlement

Equifax to pay up to $700M in massive data breach settlement

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced Monday that a coalition of fifty attorneys general has reached a settlement with Equifax - as the result of an investigation into a massive 2017 data breach.

While not the largest breach - attacks on Yahoo leaked data on as many as one billion accounts - the Equifax incident could be the most damaging because of the nature of data collected: bank and social security numbers and personal information of value to hackers and others. Criminals can use those bits of personal information to commit identity theft.

Starting Dec. 31, and extending seven years, all USA consumers may request up to six free copies of their Equifax credit report during any 12-month period as well.

Equifax had been warned in March that one of its databases - the Equifax Automated Consumer Interview System (ACIS) - suffered from a critical vulnerability, according to the FTC statement.

File photo taken in 2012 shows a corporate sign at the headquarters of Equifax in Atlanta, Ga. Some were as simple as having an outdated list of computer systems administrators. Neither the company nor government agencies have disclosed who was behind the data breach. "Thanks to this settlement, Equifax will be held accountable and affected North Carolinians will see restitution".

You can not file a claim yet.

The company will also extend credit monitoring services for 10 years for impacted consumers.

For the time you spent dealing with the breach.

In addition to possible cash compensation or credit monitoring-which may be provided by Equifax itself-beginning in 2020, Equifax must provide six additional free credit reports per year to all U.S. consumers for a period of seven years, in addition to the three free credit reports per year consumers are already entitled to receive. "We did not choose Equifax", Frosh said.

Consumers who decide not to enroll in the free credit monitoring available through the settlement may seek up to $125 as a reimbursement for the cost of a credit-monitoring product of their choice. This will add to the existing free credit report that all consumers are entitled to receive.

Consumers should consider freezing their credit, which stops thieves from opening new credit cards or loans in their names. Just do not forget to temporarily unfreeze credit, also free, when applying for a new credit card or loan.

The settlement must still be approved by the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia. "The FTC could not", commission chairman Joseph Simons said.

IL will get over $7 million in Equifax's up to $700 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission and others over a 2017 data breach that exposed private information of almost 150 million people. A December 2018 House Oversight Committee report called the breach "entirely preventable", saying Equifax didn't take action to prevent it and wasn't prepared for the aftermath.

Consumers can receive up to $20,000 to cover any financial costs incurred as a result of the stolen information.

Additional information about the settlement and how to find out whether you are eligible for relief can be found here.

Consumer advocates were generally positive on the settlement, but had concerns on the timescale of the settlement.

At least $300 million will go towards paying for identity theft services and other related expenses run up by the victims.

Additionally, it's a challenge to prove harm specifically from Equifax, as there are so many breaches, said M. Eric Johnson, dean of Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management.

The settlement will require the credit reporting firm to make more changes to how it protects and handles consumer data, the WSJ said.

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