If one consumer advocacy group gets its way, people affected by the Equifax data breach could be compensated from a fund created by the company. That is just one of seven demands proposed by the Consumers Union, the policy and action division of Consumer Reports.
The proposals come after the Atlanta-based credit bureau announced that its computer system was hacked, exposing as many as 143 million people to identity fraud. The union has created a petition calling for Equifax to do seven key things relating to protecting consumers and being transparent about the hacking incident.
The group says that it is concerned that senior Equifax executives reportedly sold major amounts of stock before going public with the breach. The union also charges that any protections the company has implemented against litigation is also in bad faith.
7 things the Consumers Union is demanding Equifax do now
“It’s unacceptable for Equifax to try to insulate itself from class-action lawsuits during this crisis. The company should remove all mentions of forced arbitration from their terms and agreements,” the organization says in the petition.
Here is what the Consumers Union is requesting that Equifax do immediately:
1. Pay for credit freezes
2. Extend credit monitoring for affected consumers
3. Provide more detailed information about what happened
4. Remove all mandatory arbitration clauses
5. Hire and train staff who can review and process customer complaints promptly
6. Set aside a fund to compensate consumers whose data was exposed
7. Investigate allegations of insider trading
The union said that Equifax should invest in resources to help consumers immediately. “Given the volume of leaked data, many customers and consumers will be contacting Equifax with problems. The company should hire and train staff to process these inquiries more rapidly.”
Money expert Clark Howard says the No. 1 way to protect yourself from identity fraud is by freezing your credit.
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