The Value Of All My Private Financial Data - $3.52
Like millions of Americans, I received a disappointing check this week in a settlement that ended litigation stemming from a massive data breach at Equifax, Inc. in 2017.
A breach occurred around Sept. 7, 2017 at the American credit bureau Equifax Inc.
The private records of 147.9 million Americans, 15.2 million British citizens and about 19,000 Canadian citizens were stolen from Equifax’s computer database by hackers that Equifax says were linked to the Chinese military. It was one of the largest cybercrimes related to identity theft in history.
I was a victim.
This week, I got a check from Equifax for $3.52. It was part of a $380,500,000 settlement reached in 2020 between “Class Counsel” and Equifax, and approved by the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Georgia.
My Social Security number, bank accounts, credit card info, driver’s license number, etc. are apparently worth less than a cappuccino at a local coffee shop.
I was notified last year that I was eligible for four years of free credit monitoring services, which offers temporary protection for Equifax’s failure to maintain the confidentiality of my financial records. I signed up. What happens when the four-year prior expires? There is no answer to this question.
It is disconcerting to know that my financial information - all collected without my consent by Equifax - is now in the hands of unscrupulous hackers.
My personal data obviously had scant value but the same is not true of the value of the time spent by attorneys who worked on the litigation.
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