The news of the Equifax data breach is dominating headlines as it appears approximately 143 million American consumers are at risk of identity theft. There are already over 60 class action lawsuits filed in 26 states. Additionally, some state attorney generals have announced lawsuits claiming Equifax has violated state laws by not protecting people’s personal data.
Equifax, based in Atlanta, GA, is one of the largest consumer credit reporting agencies, yielding nearly $3.1 billion in annual revenue. It services 820 million consumers and 91 million businesses throughout the world. On September 7, 2017, the company announced that the cyberattack had occurred. Allegedly Equifax learned of the breach on July 29. The hackers have gained access to such sensitive consumer information as:
- Social security numbers
- Birth dates
- Driver’s license numbers
- Credit card numbers
Because up to 45% of the adult population in the U. S. was affected, it is advised that consumers should visit Equifax’s website, www.equifaxsecurity2017.com (on a secure connection) to see if their information has been exposed. According to the Federal Trade Commission, consumers should also:
- check credit reports
- monitor bank and credit card accounts
- consider placing a credit freeze on opening new accounts
- consider placing a fraud alert on your account
Equifax is facing considerable outcry from the public because its business is completely focused on data security. Equifax has previously identified lesser security breaches in the past (2013 and 2016), and many argue that these breaches should have led to more stringent security monitoring by the company. Additionally, consumers are suspect of the fact that Equifax waited over five weeks to disclose the breach to the public. These points are leading many to consider legal action against Equifax claiming that Equifax failed to safeguard personal information and that Equifax used substandard security practices in protecting its consumers.
If you have been put at risk for current and future identity theft as the result of the Equinox failing to secure your sensitive personal data, you may want to talk to a lawyer familiar with the legal issues surrounding the data breach. Feel free to contact attorney Brett Oppenheimer by phone, (502)242-8877 or fill out a contact form found on this web page.