Sadly, once again its the consumer with no control that gets screwed without kisses…

Equifax May Be Happy to Spend $1 Per Customer for Their Trouble

Image: Equifax May Be Happy to Spend $1 Per Customer for Their Trouble
(Mike Stewart/AP)

Wednesday, 20 Sep 2017 12:28 PM

Equifax Inc. could get away with paying a mere $1 per person after failing to protect almost half of America’s credit data.

While the 118-year-old credit-reporting firm has been hit with more than 100 consumer lawsuits over its massive security breach, legal experts say there’s room for a deal because neither side has a slam-dunk case.

A global settlement of about $200 million is plausible, said Nathan Taylor, a cybersecurity lawyer with Morrison Foerster LLP in Washington. That’s a projection based on the $115 million Anthem Inc. agreed to pay in June — setting a U.S. record — to resolve claims that it didn’t protect a smaller number of people from a 2015 criminal hack that stole similarly sensitive information, Taylor said.

With lawyers collecting as much as a third of any payout, the company may end up spending an average of less than $1 per person for credit monitoring and out-of-pocket expenses for 143 million Equifax consumers whose data was compromised.

That’s a good deal for the embattled credit reporting company as its exposure theoretically could amount to $143 billion under a federal law that carries damages of as much as $1,000 per violation, plus punitive damages.Equifax faces additional uncertainty around suits and investigations by state attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission, as well as claims by financial institutions. On top of that, the Justice Department is said to have opened a criminal probe into whether top officials at the company violated insider trading laws when they sold stock before Equifax disclosed that it had been hacked.

Amid all the negative publicity, the company may relish a chance to put at least one legal headache behind it sooner rather than later. As of Tuesday, shares had fallen 30 percent since the hack was disclosed Sept. 7, and company officials now face calls to testify before Congress.

‘Little Secret’

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