Equifax Is Set To Pay A $700 Million Settlement For 2017 Data Breach
Kelly Sikkema

Consumer reporting agency, Equifax will pay up to $700 million to settle a 2017 data breach that left over 150 million people and their private information vulnerable, AP News reported. 

The company will be settling with the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission, 48 states and both the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

The hefty settlement will also provide a $425 million relief for the consumers who are victims of the massive breach. 

The data exposed by the breach included Social Security numbers,  driver’s license numbers, birthdays, credit card numbers and passport information. 

“The consumer fund of up to $425 million that we are announcing today reinforces our commitment to putting consumers first and safeguarding their data – and reflects the seriousness with which we take this matter,” Equifax CEO Mark Begor told AP. 

The settlement will also cover a $100 million civil money penalty and other consumer relief, according to AP.

Consumers can become eligible to receive some of the relief funds by filing a claim that details the money spent on identity theft protection and other purchases brought on by the breach. Those impacted will be eligible for funds for at least 10 years of free credit monitoring and identity restoration services, AP reported. 

U.S. consumers may also receive up to six free copies of their Equifax credit report during any 12-month period.

“Companies that profit from personal information have an extra responsibility to protect and secure that data,” FTC Chairman Joe Simons told AP. “This settlement requires that the company take steps to improve its data security going forward, and will ensure that consumers harmed by this breach can receive help protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud.”