The 2017 data breach at Equifax, which exposed the personally identifiable information of nearly half the U.S. population, was one of the largest in history. Now it will go down as the costliest, as well.
The credit monitoring firm agreed to pay as much as $700 million to settle various allegations brought against it in the wake of the data breach. The settlement concludes multiple probes into Equifax by the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Board, and virtually every state’s attorney general.
While this all sounds well and good as a headline, we hope much of this money will go to affected consumers. Initial news reports that said Equifax will pay the money “to regulators” didn’t exactly fill us with confidence; an extra $700 million sitting in already-bloated government coffers doesn’t help anyone. But it seems at least half the money will go to a restitution fund for consumers whose data was unduly exposed by Equifax, and we hope that fund gets used to the fullest.