Equifax to cough-out $650 million to settle 2017 data breach


To put the scathing and damaging data breach scandal behind, Equifax will be paying close to $650 million.

The series of probes as well a class-action suit which is being supervised by various regulators including the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Board would put an end to the 2017 data breach when hackers made away with personal financial data of Equifax.

As part of the agreed deal, victims of the hack will be eligible for 10 years of free credit monitoring from Equifax, and the company agreed to make it easier for consumers to freeze their credit or dispute inaccurate information in credit reports. The agreement also includes the establishing a $300 million restitution fund for harmed consumers that could climb to $425 million depending on its use.

“This company’s ineptitude, negligence, and lax security standards endangered the identities of half the U.S. population,” New York Attorney General Letitia James was quoted in a statement by Reuters.

The 2017 data breach which exposed over 140 million customers of the credit rating company led to a global outcry on the damage posed by hackers and also highlighted the importance of cybersecurity for companies handling important personal data.

The fine also includes another $175 million fine to the states and $50 million to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, CFPB.

At the height of the investigation, it was discovered that Equifax was slow in raising an alarm on the data breach to the relevant authorities. The scandal led to the exit of its chief executive as regulators questioned the massive amounts of data in the hands of private companies.

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