Included in the American Association for Justice’s “Worst Corporate Conduct of 2017” article, is a report about credit-reporting agency Equifax’s massive data breach, and it’s attempt to profit from its own negligence. How big was the mishandling of the public’s private information? The scope of the breach is estimated to impact almost half of the entire population of the United States. We are talking about people’s social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, personal identification numbers, dates of birth, and more.
Aside from not timely reporting the massive breach to the public, it appears that Equifax was “. . . far more competent when it came to taking advantage of the breach.” Equifax offered those effected a free, one-year identity theft protection service. As the AAJ article stated, “if just one million of those 148 million harmed persons renewed the service, or forgot to cancel, Equifax stood to profit to the tune of $200,000,000.00.” In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company saw its net income rise by 40% over the previous year. Be protective of your personal information: don’t post your private information on social media sites, use internet security software, don’t give out your social security number, change passwords frequently, turn on private browsing, and use two-factor identification.