National Consumers League

Equifax adds insult to injury by requiring consumers affected by data breach to agree to mandatory binding arbitration


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September 8, 2017

Contact: Cindy Hoang, National Consumers League, (202) 207-2832, cindyh@nclnet.org

Congressional action in response to 143 million-record breach is long overdue, says consumer group

Washington, DC—Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit bureaus has announced that 143 million consumers have had their personally identifiable information compromised. The following statement is attributable to John Breyault, National Consumers League Vice President of Public Policy, Telecommunications and Fraud:

“In a scenario that has become all too common, a company entrusted with protecting consumers’ most sensitive data has failed to protect that data. While Equifax will face a public relation headache, it is the consumers who will ultimately pay the price in the form of higher risk of identity theft and other fraud.

Even worse, Equifax adds insult to injury by requiring consumers to waive their right to a day in court and accept mandatory binding arbitration in order to take advantage of the company’s free year of credit monitoring. Cybersecurity experts estimate that the effects of this breach may be felt by consumers for decades. Consumers who choose to take advantage of Equifax’s credit monitoring in response to this breach should be sure to read the fine print carefully to find out how to opt out of these outrageous arbitration clauses.

The time is long overdue for Congress to step in and pass comprehensive data security legislation. This legislation should not only outline strong data security practices, but also minimum responsibilities for companies to compensate affected consumers when their personal information is exposed.”

For additional information on this breach and what consumers can do to protect themselves, visit Fraud.org’s “Data Breach HQ” page on the breach here.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.