Equifax exposed 150 million Americans' personal data. Now it will pay up to $700 million

In 2017, credit-reporting company Equifax disclosed that they had experienced a major data breach, affecting up to 143 million people. The company joined Yahoo, Myspace, Target, LinkedIn and more on the list of largest data breaches in history.​

Posted: Jul 23, 2019 10:25 AM


Credit reporting agency Equifax has reached a deal to pay up to $700 million to state and federal regulators to settle probes stemming from a data breach that exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million people. It will be the largest settlement ever paid for a data breach.

The Federal Trade Commission announced Monday that Equifax will pay at least $300 million and as much as $425 million to compensate affected people with credit monitoring services. That money will go into a fund that will also reimburse people who purchased credit- or identity-monitoring services because of the 2017 data breach. The amount of the settlement could change depending on the number of claims still to be filed by consumers.

Equifax will also pay $275 million in civil penalties and other compensation to 48 states, Washington, Puerto Rico and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The deal also requires more changes to how Equifax handles private user data. For example, the company will have to adjust its information security protocols, including annual assessments of security risks and receiving the board's certification attesting that the company has complied with the FTC's order.

The FTC alleges Equifax violated the agency's prohibition against unfair and deceptive practices. The FTC said Equifax failed to properly safeguard peoples' personal information despite claiming in its privacy policy that it implemented "reasonable physical, technical and procedural safeguards" to protect their data.

"Companies that profit from personal information have an extra responsibility to protect and secure that data," said FTC Chairman Joe Simons in a statement. "Equifax failed to take basic steps that may have prevented the breach."

The hack, the largest in US history, exposed sensitive information, including names, Social Security numbers, drivers' license numbers and addresses.

Equifax did not respond to CNN Business' request for comment.

Equifax first disclosed the hack in September 2017, three months after the company discovered the breach.

Hackers leveraged a security flaw in a tool designed to build web applications to steal customer data. Equifax admitted it was aware of the security flaw a full two months before the company says hackers first accessed its data.

The data breach prompted the resignation of CEO Richard Smith and investigations by federal regulators, multiple states attorneys general and the company faces a number of civil lawsuits.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 449038

Reported Deaths: 33081
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Queens715777243
Kings669717315
Bronx525264939
Nassau461542201
Suffolk460102011
Westchester377551454
New York330113173
Richmond157131085
Rockland14801675
Orange11790498
Erie10917689
Monroe5876289
Dutchess5053153
Onondaga4201205
Albany3006134
Oneida2373123
Ulster223995
Niagara1714101
Putnam157363
Sullivan157048
Broome145969
Schenectady137748
Saratoga99017
Rensselaer89642
Columbia58037
Chautauqua5369
Madison48617
Ontario45635
Oswego4243
Tompkins3940
Warren35633
Steuben34442
Fulton33224
Otsego3255
Orleans32354
Chemung3223
Greene31918
Herkimer31910
St. Lawrence3154
Genesee3145
Wayne3095
Washington28714
Cattaraugus2536
Chenango2487
Montgomery2234
Tioga22225
Livingston2018
Cayuga1962
Jefferson1610
Essex1580
Cortland1550
Clinton1545
Wyoming1325
Delaware1304
Seneca1053
Allegany961
Schoharie830
Franklin640
Yates627
Lewis500
Schuyler370
Hamilton150
Unassigned016
Utica
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Oneonta
Clear
32° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 32°
Herkimer
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 36°
Thendara
Clear
36° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 36°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left