Equifax To Pay Up To $700 Million In Data Breach Settlement

Andrew Cummings
July 22, 2019

Equifax Inc. agreed to pay up to $700 million to resolve USA federal and state investigations into the 2017 hack that compromised some of the most sensitive information of more than 140 million people.

Equifax is about to reach an agreement with the US Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and most state attorneys general, Sputnik news agency reported on Saturday citing a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The deal also requires more changes to how Equifax handles private user data.

Equifax, one of three major credit-reporting companies, disclosed in 2017 that a data breach had compromised the personal information, including Social Security numbers, of 143 million Americans.

Equifax will pay up to $700 million in a proposed settlement over its massive 2017 data breach.

The settlement must still be approved by the federal district court in the Northern District of Georgia. "Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach".

CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger said the settlement includes $425 million to cover the "time and money [people affected by the breach] spent to protect themselves from potential threats of identity theft or addressing incidents of identity theft as a result of the breach".

Hackers gained access to the Equifax network in May 2017 and attacked the company for 76 days, according to a House Oversight Committee report.

The breach - one of the most severe in US history - included sensitive information, such as Social Security and driver's license numbers and prompted swift condemnation from bipartisan lawmakers, agencies and consumers.

People will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry on the company's website.

The agency relies on its authority to regulate unfair and deceptive trade practices to hold companies accountable for data-security representations.

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