Equifax forced to pay you $4 for compromising your data

Equifax says a giant cybersecurity breach compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans almost half the country

Equifax says a giant cybersecurity breach compromised the personal information of as many as 143 million Americans almost half the country

Equifax signed a settlement today to lay to rest lawsuits brought forward by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state attorneys, and a class-action case relating to the firm's 2017 data breach.

Equifax will also pay $275 million in fees to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Attorneys General of 48 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, and the New York Department of Financial Services.

As part of the settlement, Equifax will provide a consumer restitution fund of up to $425 million.

The rest of the money will be divided between 50 USA states and territories and a penalty paid to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

"Our top priority was to make sure the almost 1.9 million Kentuckians who had their personal data exposed in this breach have access to the Consumer Restitution Fund and extended credit monitoring services", Beshear said. Equifax is also offering six free credit reports for seven years beginning in 2020, alongside the one free annual report that Equifax, Experian and TransUnion provide already.

"Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach", said the FTC's chairman Joe Simons. Equifax admitted it was aware of the security flaw a full two months before the company says hackers first accessed its data.

Equifax CEO Mark Begor said several times on a conference call Monday that data connected with the breach has never been found for sale on the darknet.

"We did not choose Equifax, Equifax chose us", he told a news conference in Washington with FTC and other officials.

For the time you spent dealing with the breach.

It was the largest breach in history, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults.

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

If consumers choose not to enroll in the free credit monitoring product available through the settlement, they 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. The settlement still must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

Consumers can receive up to $20,000 to cover any financial costs incurred as a result of the stolen information. Consumers can freeze their credit for free because of recent legislation, avoiding fees that were typically $5 to $10 per rating agency.

Consumers who are eligible for restitution will be required to submit claims online or by mail. You can find more information on the FTC's website.

After the breach was announced, Equifax mailed notices to people whose credit card numbers or dispute documents with personal identifying information were impacted.

The remaining six years will be Equifax-only credit monitoring.

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