In 2017, Equifax had just suffered a massive data breach, resulting in the theft of over half of all American adults’ personal information. Now, 2 years later, Equifax will pay a total of $700 million in fines for laws they broke and their negligent handling of consumer data.
Reuters stated that of the $700 million, Equifax is set to pay $300 million in damages to consumers, a number that could climb as high as $425 million depending on how many people claim damages. LifeHacker has outlined exactly what to expect if you were a part of the 147 million Americans who had their data stolen. If you were to file a claim now, expect one of the following outcomes:
1. Free credit monitoring for four years through Experian, or six years through Equifax. However, if you already have credit monitoring for the next six months, you could file a claim for the sum of $125 cash.
2. Up to $20,000 cash if you can prove damages due to the data breach. However, to claim, let alone obtain such a large sum of money will require that you are able to prove without a doubt that you suffered damages directly related to the Equifax data breach.
3. Identity restoration services for free for the next seven years.
Chief Executive Mark Begor from Equifax said that he expects the $425 million would be enough to ensure all those who suffered damages would be financially compensated. However, US consumer advocates voiced several concerns regarding the supposed “substantial” amount. Ed Mierzwinski of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group regarded the fine as “…a parking ticket, not a penalty.” He also finds the number of hoops consumers must jump through, in order to be compensated for Equifax’s negligent handling of consumer sensitive information, ridiculous. Concerns about the short-sightedness of these “penalties and fines” is also on the minds of some. Chi Chi Wu, the attorney for the National Consumer Law Center stated that “The settlement provides some compensation right now, but the risk of identity theft is forever.” Many believe Equifax has been “let off the hook” for the largest data breach in American history, a viewpoint hard to argue with.
After reading this, you are probably wondering yourself if your information had been compromised due to the breach. Well, the good news is that I can provide you the link to the website but can promise nothing in terms of the outcome of your discovery! Equifax has provided a website for consumers to review their data information.
If you are a business owner and are worried about the security and safety of your business’s sensitive information, contact Hammett Technologies! We are experts in data security and can guarantee the safety and security of all your company’s sensitive information! Click here to learn how we can help your company stay secure!