This is the first of what I anticipate being many updates on the Equifax Data Breach. There has been quite of bit of information that has come out since the announcement of the breach on September 7. Some of the important highlights:
You do not (most likely) give up your right to sue Equifax by taking advantage of its offer of a free year of credit monitoring.
- There was some initial concern that by accepting the offer, you waive your rights to pursue litigation due to Equifax’s Terms and Conditions forcing binding arbitration. However, facing intense blowback, Equifax stated, and then changed their Terms and Conditions to indicate, this is not the case.
- I say “most likely,” as this hasn’t been tested in court, but I doubt given the scrutiny, Equifax would try to enforce the arbitration clauses now that they have publicly stated otherwise.
If you take advantage of the free credit monitoring, you are not auto-renewed at the end of the year at a cost.
- The paid version of the service had an “auto-renew” if you didn’t cancel, but Equifax isn’t gathering any payment information for the service for this free offer and has stated explicitly there is no auto-renewal
It has been reported that the hack was the result of Equifax not updating a web application’s security. There was a patch available in March, but Equifax didn’t do it and, as a result, the data breach occurred. Not confidence-inspiring for a company that has personal information on most Americans.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is investigating the data breach.
Equifax’s CEO has been called to testify before Congress on October 3.
We’ll continue to monitor the progress of this massive data breach and provide regular updates. As always, stay vigilant by checking your credit reports, and, if you see any incorrect information or fraudulent activity, please contact us, or you can call us at 757-453-7086