News Briefs

Equifax has agreed to pay $650 million two years after its data breach put 147 million people at risk. It's not enough.

On July 22, a federal judge gave tentative approval to the $650 million settlement of claims over the exposure of Social Security numbers and other private information. But Ed Mierzwinski, senior director of our federal consumer program, told The New York Times, the penalty is "just inadequate."

“It seems to be what they think they should pay, not what they deserve to pay,” Ed told The Times. According to a financial filing, Equifax put aside $690 million to cover the costs of the hack. Last year, Wells Fargo paid $1 billion for its financial transgressions.

Ed also points out, the consequences of the breach remain to be seen. "The information is out there. Your financial DNA is like gold. It can sit in a thief’s vault for years and still be valuable.”

Read our full press release.

Photo Caption: To protect yourself against identity theft, freeze your credit. Find out how at https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/consumer-tips. Photo Credit: dennizn via Shutterstock

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