Equifax lost over 140 million customer’s personal information during a recent breach. 44% of Americans just lost control over their social security, drivers license, and credit card numbers along with their names, birth date, addresses…basically everything required to start building false identities and robbing them blind.
The company’s initial response is to give us all free credit monitoring…their credit monitoring. Uhm really? Couldn’t you hold on to my information right in the first place? Why the heck would I want you telling me if the information you lost is being used to impersonate me? Off to Credit Karma I go…
Equifax released the information after the market closed in an attempt to pad their losses. So you put my money at risk, but try not to risk yours? The stock has rebounded to $142/share this morning, which goes to show just how little investors care about the risks associated with this breach.
Here’s my professional opinion on this breach: Nobody is going to get any wiser until you make a solid example out of them. Equifax has more control over our financial lives than even our banks. They should be brought to their proverbial knees to make sure all big business knows how seriously we take this. A class action lawsuit that awards $10 to each affected person would levy a $1.4 billion fine, plus the SEC fines that will likely be involved. Additionally, the company should be forced to create a trust fund set aside to right any wrongs caused by their negligence. It should be managed by an impartial third party and be held against the company’s financials as a liability.
A huge fine would create a definitive material impact to Equifax’s bottom line, likely lasting for years to come driving the stock down. Being forced to maintain such a huge liability would further poison the waters for future investors. The market losses alone could be enough to educate larger investors to be wary of security risks in the future, and would definitely bringe the ire of regulators to hopefully set more stringent regulations on credit bureaus. Wait…do regulations do anything but create auditors?
Or we could just Fight Club this one…
Where to check if you have been affected: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
Update 9/8/17 10:47am
It looks like all of us poor schlubs who signed up for the free TrustedId service also waived our rights to join a class action lawsuit, buried deep in their terms of service (Thanks TechCrunch for pointing this out to all of us in the TL;DR crowd). We might not have given up our rights just yet, as all of us who started the enrollment process don’t appear to have actually enrolled yet. I was told to come back on 9/12 and finish the process. Sorry - I would rather sue. Hopefully, I still can.
Oh wait - these putrid fuckers sold over $1mil in company stock after the breach but before public notification? ”But I didn’t know…so it’s not insider trading?” Can we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt there were no whispers around the water cooler? This reeks of insider trading - even if they didn’t know at the time.