The Equifax Data Breach: Now What?


September 2017

By Selina Stoller, SAF Holdings, LLC

Equifax, a credit-reporting agency, experienced one of the most significant data breaches in recent history.

Credit card numbers for roughly 209,000 U.S. consumers were accessed, along with some dispute documents that contain personal identifying information for about 182,000 U.S. consumers.

Overall, the personal, financial information of more than 145 million people was potentially compromised from mid-May through July 2017.

U.S. lawmakers, as well as consumers, were angered by the data breach and called for new laws to be put into place following accusations of insider trading and other unethical behavior by the company.

“The hack was awful, but then their response to the hack continued to show their incompetence,” Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) told The Washington Post. “This should be a new impetus to move.”

According to WIRED, hearings conducted by the U.S. House and Senate in the past few weeks provided key items of discovery that will be used by prosecutors and attorneys against Equifax going forward, which could last for years.

Many want Equifax to be held accountable for its negligence and poor treatment of consumers and at least 23 class-action lawsuits have already been filed against the company, USA Today reported.

While these results of these hearings play out on television and in newspapers, consumers may be asking themselves, “Well, now what?”

Because the hack was so large, it would be best to check to see if your personal information was compromised.

To see if you were affected, visit Equifax’s “potential impact” page. There, you’ll be prompted to enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number. After you enter your information, Equifax will offer you a year of free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection through a service called TrustedID Premier.

Although there were concerns that opting into TrustedID’s monitoring service could mean waiving your right to participate in a class-action lawsuit, Equifax publicly clarified its position.

In a progress update for consumers, the company said enrolling “does not waive any rights to take legal action.” It also noted you won’t automatically be enrolled in or charged for TrustedID Premier after the conclusion of the complimentary year.

  • 13 Oct, 2017
  • Josh Smith

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