Equifax lobbied to kill rule protecting victims of data breaches

Equifax lobbied to kill rule protecting victims of data breaches

Equifax lobbied to kill rule protecting victims of data breaches

The hack provides quite a bonanza for denizens of the "dark web".

Related: Were you hit by the Equifax hack?

The lawsuit claims customers, who tried to find out if their information may have been stolen, were referred to an unsecured website.

A legislation was reintroduced on Monday to reduce inaccuracies in credit reports and to give consumers more legal remedies when problems occur.

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And Alex Southwell, a privacy lawyer at Gibson Dunn and a former federal prosecutor in NY, said the original rules still left room for people to sue Equifax over the original hack, even if they can't sue over the credit monitoring. Its TrustedID Premier setup does "3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security numbers". It's a bit like getting food poisoning from a restaurant and receiving a voucher for a free dinner at the same restaurant. Respond right away to letters from the IRS. It faces multiple state and federal investigations, and at least one multibillion-dollar class action lawsuit.

In the wake of the breach, many experts - including Hawaii's own consumer advocate - have urged consumers to consider putting a credit freeze on their accounts.

If you don't want the fox to guard the chicken coop, a free membership to MoneyTips includes a credit monitoring service at no charge.

The downside is you will have to unlock your freeze with a password anytime you want to buy a vehicle, a home equity loan, or new cell phone account.

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Morgan says help is available for victims of the Equifax breach.

But human behavior being what it is, only one in three Americans have ever even checked their personal credit reports, notes Khalfani-Cox, and less than 1 percent have used credit freezes since their inception.

The agencies advise you to plan ahead and lift a freeze a few days before actually applying for new credit. These services add another solid layer of protection against fraud. The oldest of the three major United States credit bureaus, it maintains information on over 800 million people for credit and insurance reports, which is also a juicy target for anyone trying to steal data. Unfortunately, identity thieves may have enough of your information to fool creditors.

A credit freeze aims to block anyone from opening new accounts in your name. When your credit is frozen, creditors can't get access to your credit file and will refuse to open accounts. But when you're not looking to take out any loans or open any lines of credit, it can be a financial lifesaver. The CFPB is led by director Richard Cordray, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama.

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