Published: Tue, September 19, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Data breach investigation worthwhile

Data breach investigation worthwhile

"Accordingly, we believe Equifax should be taking steps to reimburse consumers who incur fees to completely freeze their credit".

Depending on where a consumer lives, those fees now range from $5 to $10 per request per agency.

The office of the privacy commissioner of Canada said Friday that Equifax had committed to contact, in writing, to the Canadians whose personal information could have been stolen, and to offer them services for free credit monitoring.

Data of up to 400,000 British customers of the United States credit rating firm Equifax may have been accessed during a large-scale data breach that occurred between mid-May and the end of July this year. A fraud alert warns creditors that you may be an identity theft victim, so they should verify that anyone seeking credit in your name really is you. Equifax says home addresses, password information, and financial data wasn't included.

More than a week after Equifax revealed that 143 million American customers' personal information was exposed in a data breach, the credit monitoring company still hasn't said how many Canadians were affected. A security freeze prevents potential creditors from being able to view or "pull" your credit file, unless you affirmatively unfreeze your file beforehand.

A spokesperson for Equifax said the company is "working diligently with our bank partners to assess and mitigate any impact to their operations".

In one he blasts the trouble credit reporting agency by charging people for credit-monitoring services. Congress must act to protect consumer privacy, along with people's ability to get a loan, to buy a auto or even get a new job.

Pennsylvania is leading the investigation along with a group of other attorneys general, in a probe that was launched the day after Equifax publicly disclosed the data breach on August 7.

"We object to Equifax seemingly using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to breach victims", the letter states describing the fees, including for credit freezes, as unfair.

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