On July 22, 2019, Equifax agreed to a compliance agreement with eight states and the District of Columbia, following a massive data breach in 2017. The compliance agreement outlines several measures that Equifax must take to improve its data security practices and ensure that similar incidents do not occur in the future.
The 2017 data breach, which affected approximately 143 million people in the United States, was a wake-up call for Equifax and other companies that handle sensitive personal information. During the breach, hackers were able to access names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and other sensitive data.
As part of the compliance agreement, Equifax has agreed to enhance its data security measures, including taking steps to identify vulnerabilities in its system and implementing measures to prevent future breaches. The company will also be required to provide regular reports to the participating states on its compliance efforts.
In addition, Equifax has agreed to pay a total of $700 million in fines and compensation to consumers who were affected by the data breach. The company has also established a $1 billion fund to provide free credit monitoring services to affected consumers.
The compliance agreement is a significant step towards improving data security practices and protecting consumers` personal information. It sends a clear message to companies that handle sensitive data that they must take all necessary steps to ensure the security of that data.
If you are concerned about the security of your personal information, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. First, consider freezing your credit with all three major credit bureaus. This will prevent anyone from opening new credit accounts in your name without your authorization.
You should also regularly review your credit report to ensure that there are no unauthorized accounts or suspicious activity. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, report it immediately to the credit bureau and the relevant financial institution.
Finally, be cautious when sharing your personal information online. Only provide sensitive information to reputable websites and never give out your Social Security number or other sensitive information unless you are certain that you are dealing with a legitimate company.
In conclusion, Equifax`s compliance agreement is an important step towards improving data security practices and protecting consumers` personal information. Companies that handle sensitive data must take all necessary steps to ensure the security of that data, and consumers should take steps to protect themselves as well.