Equifax faces a huge class action lawsuit after revelations that the credit reporting agency had suffered a huge data breach. Two women in Oregon U.S. filed the lawsuit on behalf of all affected consumers. It followed an extensive data breach that could see personal information of 143 million American’s compromised.
Accused of negligence
The company must now deal with accusations of neglecting to protect customer data. The complainants accuse Equifax of cutting costs and not taking the relevant measures to tackle the threat of hackers. The lawsuit claims that Equifax would have known that not having appropriate technological safeguards in place, would lead to a huge data breach. It also states that the company should have invested more in protecting itself against cyber-attacks.
‘Quickly shut it down’
Equifax said the hack took place between mid-May and July 29 this year. It added that when the company discovered the data breach, it quickly shut it down. Bosses then hired a cybersecurity firm to investigate, which also resulted in contacting the police. Equifax then disclosed news of the hack to the public.
Just days after the attack, nearly $2 million worth of company stock was released by three Equifax executives. However, a spokesperson for the firm denied that the individuals had known about the breach at that time.
$70 billion lawsuit
The lawsuit requires the company to pay compensation of up to $70 billion for those customers affected by the breach. It also requests a court order to ensure the company preserves all internal records related to the attack. The lawyers behind the lawsuit said they hoped it will become a “teachable moment” for better data security and encourage firms to adopt adequate safeguards to prevent such breaches from happening again.
The Securities and Exchange Commission said it will conduct its own investigation into the breach.