Equifax to Pay up to $700 Million Settlement for Data Breach
Equifax has agreed to a settlement regarding the company’s 2017 data breach. Equifax will pay a minimum of $575 million and up to $700 million in a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), and 50 U.S. states and territories.
The data breach revealed some personal information on 147 million people. It involved names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, credit card data, driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, and tax identification numbers.
The settlement breaks down as follows:
- $300 million for consumers who paid for Equifax credit monitoring services, or who had to pay for credit monitoring as a result of the breach
- Up to $125 million more for the consumer fund, if the initial payment does not cover losses
- $100 million in civil penalty fees, paid to the CFPB
- $175 million to 48 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia
Equifax will also provide all U.S. consumers with six free credit reports per year for the next seven years. Traditionally, credit bureaus provide one free credit report per year.
The FTC has an email signup available for consumers who may have been affected by the breach. This provides up-to-date information for when and how to file a claim. The claim site will also have a tool consumers can use to verify their eligibility.
Each individual will receive up to four years of free credit monitoring for all three bureaus or a $125 cash settlement. Individuals will also be eligible for up to $20,000 in reimbursements for time and money spent in identity theft recovery. Finally, Equifax will provide free identity restoration for seven years, in the event of future identity theft.