Judge orders Equifax to pay out at least $650m in largest data breach settlement ever

A judge ruled that Equifax will have to pay at least $650m for its 2017 data breach, but it could pay much more.

July 23, 2019

After 2 years and countless headaches, the Equifax saga is (nearly) over: The credit bureau was ordered to pay out at least $650m in a settlement related to its 2017 mega-breach.

It’s the biggest data breach settlement EVER

In fact, it’s 5x larger than any other data settlement in history (the 2nd largest was Anthem’s $115m settlement in 2015). 

At least $300m of the settlement will go to consumers affected by the breach, with much of the remainder going toward the resolution of investigations by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and 48 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico).

But the ultimate price of Equifax’s penalty is still uncertain: If all 147m victims cashed in on the free credit monitoring program Equifax will be required to offer, Equifax would pay more than $2B.

But Equifax is probably gonna be OK

For Equifax, the preliminary $650m fine is less than the sales the company would typically do in a single quarter.

Plus, Equifax expects only about 7m of the potential 147m claimants to come forward to take advantage of the free credit monitoring services, which could reduce its overall costs.

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