Equifax Faces A Class-Action Lawsuit in Atlanta

Equifax breach could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, says Forrester analyst
How to Protect and Monitor Your Identity After The Equifax Hack
Author

12 September, 2017

Equifax is one of three nationwide credit-reporting companies that track and rate the financial history of US consumers.

"We are not requesting consumers' credit card information when they sign up for the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection we are offering to all USA consumers", the company said in a statement. That language landed the company in hot water with users and regulators alike. Never give out any of your personal information to someone who has contacted you "regarding the Equifax breach" (or any other breach or circumstance, for that matter).

"We are engaged in a process that will provide consumers a randomly generated PIN".

Schatz also published a letter to Equifax CEO Richard Smith with steps to better serve those impacted by the breach.

No matter how you slice it, that's an overwhelming amount of negative activity around Equifax's stock on a forward-looking basis.

Consider freezing your credit. Some credit card information was also put at risk.

Lorelei Salas, the commissioner of the city's Department of Consumer Affairs, lambasted Equifax's response to the breach in a September 8 letter to the company. "Enrolling in the free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection that we are offering as part of this cybersecurity incident does not waive any rights to take legal action", it said.

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What makes this hack particularly damaging is that thieves don't just have one isolated piece of an individual's personal information, they have an entire set of data points correlated to the individual, Dang pointed out.

"It's far from a ideal solution - freezing and unfreezing isn't slick - but short of changing your SSN and date of birth it's probably your best protection". Often, victims of identity theft can freeze their credit at no charge.

After news of the breach became public, it was revealed that three senior executives at Equifax, including the company's chief financial officer, sold nearly $2 million worth of the company's shares just days after it learned of the hack. You can receive one free credit report every year from each of the three bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com or 1-877-322-8228.

Company officials learned of the breach on July 29, but waited more than a month to inform customers.

While their services are essential to the US economy, the credit-reporting bureaus don't have the same regulatory oversight as the financial industry.

Some of the experts commented on this and among them was Beth Givens, executive director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, who stated that "The type of information that has been exposed is really sensitive".

"First thing they should do is they should report it to the police and then file an affidavit for fraud with their bank or whatever their financial institution is", said Rivers. Whether there are laws against how the company as a whole - and those three executives - is unclear.


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