Equifax to pay up to $700 million in 2017 data breach settlement

22 Juillet, 2019, 17:13 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Equifax to pay up to $700M in massive data breach settlement

Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission and others over a 2017 data breach that exposed Social Security numbers and other private information of almost 150 million people. "Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach".

The bureau coordinated its investigation with the Federal Trade Commission and attorneys general from across the U.S. That settlement was over its alleged failure to secure the sensitive data of almost 38,000 Kentuckians. Washington policymakers questioned how private companies could amass so much personal data, setting off efforts to bolster consumers' ability to protect and control their information.

Yet lawmakers have failed to act since the hack was disclosed.

Customers' data was compromised in a cyberattack from mid-May through July 2017, but the company only announced the breach in September of that year. At the time, Equifax's stock lost more than a third of its value within days.

According to the report, hackers were able to rummage undetected through the company's network for months.

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The breach impacted 150 million people. "This settlement requires that the company take steps to improve its data security". The FTC has authority to examine whether a company's practices were reasonable and whether it was living up to representations about security of data.

"Equifax had access to people's most sensitive personal information", said Attorney General Josh Stein. Equifax's security team ordered that vulnerable systems be patched, there was no follow-up to ensure the order was carried out, the FTC said.

Affected consumers may be eligible to receive money by filing one or more claims for conditions including money spent purchasing credit monitoring or identity theft protection after the breach and the cost of freezing or unfreezing credit reports at any consumer reporting agency.

Under the settlement, the company will establish a $300 million restitution fund for harmed consumers that could climb to $425 million depending on its use.

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