Story by Jennifer Cuevas
HARTFORD – Attorney General Tong announced the State of Connecticut will receive $4.78 million from the credit reporting agency, Equifax, in 2017 data breach settlement.
Connecticut along with 48 states, the District of Colombia, and Puerto Rico have secured $600 million in the Equifax settlement.
The states discovered in their investigation that Equifax’s security system failed to provide reasonable security. Hackers were able to enter the system which exposed the data of 56 percent of American adults. It is now known as the largest-ever breach of consumer data.
The settlement includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, $175 million to the states involved and injunctive relief.
AG Tong expects this settlement to send the message of the importance of reasonable security and that the failure to implement the security will not be tolerated, and cyber-security cannot be overlooked.
Consumer Protection Commissioner, Michelle H. Seagull said, “Consumers and businesses rely on credit reporting agencies to make financial decisions in today’s marketplace. […] That’s why it’s so important that they not only have appropriate security protocols in place but set an example that goes above and beyond what we would expect of any business.”
Equifax’s data breach occurred on September 7, 2017, affecting more than 147 million consumers. The breached information included social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, and even some driver’s license numbers.
The Federal Trade Commission found Equifax had failed to replace the software that monitored the breached network for suspicious activity which gave hackers unnoticed access to the system for 76 days.
Equifax has also agreed to take several steps to assist consumers who were affected by the breach as well as strengthen their security practices.
Consumers will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry. To receive email updates regarding the launch of this online registry, consumers can sign up at www.ftc.gov/equifax-data-breach. Consumers can also call the settlement administrator at 1-833-759-2982 for more information.