Equifax penalty is a “sweetheart deal” that leaves consumers at risk

Media Contacts
Ed Mierzwinski

Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Equifax is expected to pay about $650 million to settle claims after they exposed the private financial information of 145 million people nearly two years ago. The credit bureau had already set aside about this amount of money for expected legal costs.  

U.S. PIRG’s Federal Consumer Program Director Ed Mierzwinski issued the following statement:

“Equifax appears to have made a calculated decision that losing the Social Security Numbers and birth dates of some 148 million consumers to identity thieves was worth only about $700 million or a little less. The shelf life of financial DNA is forever so this sounds like a sweetheart deal for a company that failed to do its basic job: protect consumer data. 

“Failure to protect privacy has a real harm; we think Equifax should have paid real money, not “just go-away” money, and promised real changes to its sloppy last-century practices.”

“Consumers should still freeze their credit to prevent identity theft from this and other breaches. More information on how to do that can be found at: https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/consumer-tips.”