Consumer News

AG Derek Schmidt: Update on Equifax data breach

Release Date: Sep 22, 2017

Breach affects 1.1 million Kansans

TOPEKA – (September 22, 2017) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today offered updated information for consumers following the recent Equifax data breach.

Earlier this month, Equifax, one of the nation’s three major credit reporting bureaus, announced that its system was compromised between May and July of this year affecting 143 million Americans. Equifax now says that number includes about 1.1 million Kansans.

 “As consumers decide how to protect themselves moving forward from this widespread data breach, the updated information now available should help in making informed decisions,” Schmidt said.

The following updates can be found on Equifax’s website:

  • Arbitration Clauses:  Equifax has stated enrollment in “TrustedID Premier”– their product offered in response to the breach – will not subject an enrollee to mandatory arbitration.  According to Equifax, the arbitration clauses originally included in the Terms of Use on the site www.equifaxsecurity2017.com have now been removed, and the Terms of Use on www.equifax.com do not apply to the TrustedID Premier product being offered to consumers as a result of the breach.
  • Waiver of Rights: Equifax now also has stated that the Terms of Use do not create a waiver of class action rights.  Specifically, Equifax states, “to be as clear as possible, we will not apply any arbitration clause or class action waiver against consumers for claims related to the free products offered in response to the cybersecurity incident or for claims related to the cybersecurity incident itself.”
  • Charge for Security Freeze:  Equifax has agreed to waive fees for placing and removing security freezes through November 21, 2017.  Additionally, consumers who paid for a security freeze starting at 5:00pm on September 7, 2017 will receive a refund.  Note that you are still required to pay for security freezes through TransUnion and Experian should you choose to place a freeze there; to do this, you must contact TransUnion and Experian directly. 

Last week, Schmidt, along with the attorneys general of 31 other states and territories, sent a letter to Equifax urging the company to reconsider some of their current practices in response to the breach. Among other things, the letter asked Equifax to cease marketing fee-based products; to extend the TrustedID Premier enrollment deadline; and to extend the hours to 24-hours-a-day and  to properly staff the call center. A copy of that letter can be found at http://bit.ly/2ycLUBI. The attorneys general have not yet received a response.

Consumers can find more information about how to protect themselves from data breaches at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.

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