To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Congress: Hold Equifax Accountable
Equifax failed to protect 143 million of its customers' social security numbers and other personal data from a cyberattack. Now, they’re offering customers “free” identity theft protection if and only if they sign away their right to sue the company! Tell Congress to hold them accountable.
Why is this important?
Credit-reporting giant Equifax has just disclosed that in the summer of 2017, hackers gained access to the personal information of 143 million of its consumers. The hackers obtains access to names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some cases, even credit cards.
But the behavior of Equifax in the wake of the cyberattack has been horrifying. Three Equifax Managers sold their stock in the company before the cyber attack was revealed, raising questions about potential insider trading. Worse still, the company offered "free" identity theft protection for those impacted, but only if the consumer waived their right to sue Equifax in a class action lawsuit! Buried in the terms of service for Equifax's TrustedID Premier is a ripoff clause that blocks consumers from joining together in class action lawsuits against the company. It is despicable that Equifax would exploit consumers' need for identity theft protection to avoid accountability for this devastating breach.
But perhaps most despicable of all, at this very moment, U.S. Senators are weighing legislation to take away our right to hold companies like Equifax accountable in court (S.J.Res.47), and the House of Representatives is considering legislation to make life easier for credit-reporting agencies that screw up (H.R. 2359). This cannot stand. Repealing crucial consumer protections as new financial scandals break every week would send a clear signal to bad actors like Equifax that they can continue to plunder consumers for profit. We call on Congress to IMMEDIATELY withdraw both S.J. Res 47 and H.R. 2359, and to hold hearings to investigate Equifax's response to this cyberattack.