Equifax agreed to pay $ 700 million, perhaps more, to compromise federal and state officials for data violations of 2017, which reveals social security numbers and other personal information for approximately 150 million people , Nearly half the population of the United States.
The Office of the Financial Consumer Protection and Federal Trade Commission, as well as the agreement with the 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will provide $ 425 million in cash aid, $ 100 million in fines and other types of relief to consumers.
The penetration was the biggest threat to personal information. Atlanta-based consumer reporting firm has not detected the attack for more than six weeks.
The data included social security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers and in some cases, passport data.
At the same time, with the sudden dismissal of CEO of Equifax, many other executives in the company also got success.
Equifax CEO Mark Begur said, “The agreement we are announcing today strengthens our commitment to putting consumers first and protecting their data – and with the seriousness we are working with , Indicates it. ”
Equifax, which fell 30% in the days after the breakout, returned to the business level before the crash. Equifax shares increased 2% to $ 140.26 The cost of this hour was $ 141.45 on September 7, 2017 to detect infiltration.
Relief is available in many forms. Equifax will initially pay $ 380.5 million to cover potential identity theft, which is a result of the violation, and at the same cost, the potential victim has to pay for credit control.
If the large expenses of the victims have ended the initial fund, the additional $ 125 million will be paid by Equifax. Equifax can also pay $ 2 billion to cover credit control services if all 147 million victims participate in credit control services.
Equifax infringement victims will be eligible for free credit control services for up to 10 years, seven years of identity restoration services and six free copies of Equifax Credit Report in the next seven years.
It is in addition to free credit reports that every resident in the United States is entitled to receive from credit reporting companies under American law.
If consumers choose not to register for a free credit control product, they can request up to $ 125 in compensation for the cost of the credit monitoring product that they choose. Consumers should make a claim to receive free credit control or cash compensation.
Equifax has to spend at least $ 1 billion in five years to strengthen its cyber security practices.
In addition, Equifax will have to pay $ 100 million for CFPB and the states and territories must pay ten million dollars to settle those claims.
Federal Communications Chairman Joe Simmons said, “Companies benefiting from personal information have the additional responsibility to keep that data safe and secure.”
“Equifax failed to take major steps, which could prevent entry of approximately 147 million consumers, so that the company needs to improve the security of its data and take steps to ensure that the affected consumers themselves Get help to save from theft. Identity and fraud “.
Consumer lawyers were generally positive about the settlement, but they were concerned about the settlement program.
Because thieves have stolen permanently identifiable information such as social security number and birth date, data can be used for decades to steal identity theft.
“What happens if identity theft occurs in the fifth year due to consumer penetration, which spends thousands of dollars on consumers?” Qi Chi Wu, an employee lawyer of the National Consumer Law Center, said.
The settlement should be approved by the federal district court in the northern district of Georgia.
For information about settlement conditions, as well as to claim, potential victims should go in.