Equifax 2017 Data Breach; finally a settlement worth $650M

Equifax

Equifax’s terrible handling of the personal information had led to Equifax data breach back in 2017, which affected half of all adult Americans by putting them at a high risk of identity theft. Two years post this, the company is all set to compensate.

Equifax and the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 US states and territories have reached a total settlement worth $650 million, of which $425 million of that set aside for consumers.

On filing a claim, the compensation for people who were affected by the breach directly involves four parts where Equifax has agreed to offer up to 10 years of free credit monitoring (18 if you were a minor in May 2017), with four years of that including all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) as well as $1 million of identity theft insurnace. The remaining six years will be Equifax-only credit monitoring. You can instead claim $125 if you don’t want to enroll for the monitoring. There will also be at least seven years of free identity theft restoration services and, from 2020, all US consumers get an additional six free credit reports from the Equifax website (assuming anyone ever wants to risk using Equifax again).

It is still not clear when the consumers can file for their claims and subsequently expect to receive their benefits. The process will start post receiving the court approval. The FTC Equifax Data Breach settlement Page will entail all the details once the approval is granted.

Of the settlement amount, the states will receive a fine amounting to $175 million and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which exists to make sure financial companies treat US consumers fairly; will receive the remaining $50 million.

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