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Proving you deserve $20,000 from the Equifax settlement will be nearly impossible

Follow-up to my previous posting – Equifax data breach settlement: How to file a claim for $125 or free credit reporting, please see the following information [h/t Pete Weiss]:

  • Wired – “f you’re one of the 147 million people in the United States affected by the egregious Equifax credit bureau hack in 2017, you were probably resigned to getting some free credit monitoring out of it and moving on…”
  • CNBC: “Equifax will pay $671 million to settle numerous state class-action lawsuits and investigations by the Federal Trade Commission, New York Department of Financial Services and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the company said Monday. The deal, which is still subject to a six-month court approval process, will establish a consumer restitution fund of up to $425 million, which will pay for credit monitoring from all three bureaus and any “out-of-pocket losses related to the breach.” As an alternative, consumers can request a $125 cash payment if they already have been signed up for credit monitoring services that will continue for at least six months. Consumers may also be eligible for payments of up to $20,000 for time they spent remedying fraud or misuse of personal information or out-of-pocket losses. But that will likely be an uphill battle. As CNBC previously reported and as  repeated several times on a conference call Monday, the data connected with the Equifax breach has never been found for sale on the dark web. Instead, intelligence experts and security executives have told CNBC that the information was likely stolen by a foreign intelligence agency for spying purposes. This means proving your data was misused as a result of the breach would be a difficult fight…”
  • The biggest data breach fines, penalties and settlements so far – “Hacks and data thefts, enabled by weak security, cover-ups or avoidable mistakes have cost these companies a total of nearly $1.23 billion and counting.” [Note – Do these fines result into improved, comprehensive and effective data privacy? To the contrary, the systemic hacks, breaches and deployment of malware continue unabated.]

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