Friday, September 8, 2017
DON'T SIGN UP FOR EQUIFAX TRUSTED ID IF YOU INTEND TO SUE EQUIFAX
After Equifax’s massive data breach, some customers are thinking twice before accepting the credit bureau’s help.
After a data breach that impacted a potential 143 million U.S. adults, created a website that would allow consumers to check if they were affected. Customers who were told their personal information may have been impacted were given the following message: “Click the button below to continue your enrollment in TrustedID Premier.”
Equifax’s terms require “arbitration of disputes” and “a waiver of the ability to bring or participate in a class action, class arbitration, or other representative action.” The terms were written in block capitals. However, experts say research has shown that customers rarely read the terms and conditions when signing up for services. (The company was not immediately available for comment.)
“Customers are between a rock and a hard place,” said Lisa Gilbert, the vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. “In order to protect your identity you sign away your right to band together and protect yourself with others who have been harmed. It’s a corporate Catch 22.”
What’s more, a proposed class-action lawsuit has already been filed. Late Thursday evening, Bloomberg News reported, plaintiffs Mary McHill and Brook Reinhard, who live in Oregon, filed a suit. A lawyer who is part of the team that filed the class-action suit told Bloomberg it will seek as much as $70 billion in damages nationally.