Image from theepochtimes.com (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)
Late Thursday evening, after Equifax’s announcement of a hack that exposed over 143 million people’s private information, a proposed class-action lawsuit was filed against Equifax, Inc. by the firm Olsen Daines PC along with Geragos & Geragos. The case was filed by Mary McHill and Brooke Reinhard who had personal information stored with Equifax. The class seeks as much as $70 million in damages nationally according to their attorney, Ben Meiselas.
It is believed by the plaintiff that Equifax was aware of the vulnerabilities in their system but chose not to spend on technical cybersecurity and save on expenses. Due to this negligence, private information of 143 million people was exposed to hackers. Data compromised include Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s license information, birth dates, and some credit card information.
“In an attempt to increase profits, Equifax negligently failed to maintain adequate technological safeguards to protect Ms. McHill and Mr. Reinhard’s information from unauthorized access by hackers,” the complaint stated. “Equifax knew and should have known that failure to maintain adequate technological safeguards would eventually result in a massive data breach. Equifax could have and should have substantially increased the amount of money it spent to protect against cyber-attacks but chose not to.”
Moreover, people were frustrated by how Equifax’s customer support handled their queries in knowing whether they were compromised or not. As if this wasn’t enough, three Equifax executives sold about $1.8 million in stock days before the hack was revealed. However, a spokeswoman of Equifax assured that the men “had no knowledge that an intrusion had occurred at that time.”
Bloomberg requested Equifax to comment on the matter but Equifax did not respond.
If you still haven’t, you might want to check out if your account was compromised using Equifax’s website here.
If you are part of the 143 million people whose account has been compromised, learn more on how to protect yourself here.