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Equifax close to $700 million deal for data breach settlement: report

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Via Fox Business

Equifax is reportedly nearing a $700 million deal to settle state and federal investigations related to a data breach two years ago that exposed personal information belonging to more than 145 million people.

According to The Wall Street Journal, under the agreement, the credit-reporting agency would pay close to $700 million to settle with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and most state attorneys general. The agreement would also resolve a nationwide consumer class-action lawsuit, according to the Journal, which cited sources familiar with the matter.

The deal could be announced as early as Monday.

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At the beginning of September almost two years ago, Equifax officially alerted the public about the mass cybersecurity intrusion, almost two months after it discovered it. The breach — one of the most severe in U.S. history — included sensitive information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers and prompted swift condemnation from bipartisan lawmakers, agencies and consumers.

The thieves were able to access a company portal after Equifax failed to patch a security flaw that it knew about.

Following the breach, the Atlanta-based company’s stock tumbled and its CEO, Richard Smith, was ousted.

Last year, Congress passed legislation barring credit-reporting agencies from charging fees to freeze and unfreeze credit reports. Some lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 presidential hopeful, have called for more robust FTC enforcement.


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