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San Francisco Becomes the First City to Sue in Equifax Breach

29 Setiembre 2017, 12:57 | Azura Castelo

San Francisco Becomes the First City to Sue in Equifax Breach

San Francisco Becomes the First City to Sue in Equifax Breach

Unknown hackers gained access to personal information such as names, social security numbers, birthdates, addresses, credit card numbers and the numbers of some driver's licenses.

Smith has been with the company since 2005. He retires with $18.4 million in pension benefits and $20.8 million in stock awards, according to The New York Times. The board also could "claw back" any cash or stock bonuses he may have received, if necessary.

That same week, the company also confirmed an additional "security incident involving a payroll-related service" earlier this year.

Best of luck, interim CEO Paulino de Rego Barros Jr., who must also be thinking longingly about his own retirement already. Mark Feidler, an Equifax board member, replaces Smith as chairman. The language has since been altered, and Equifax recently released a statement insisting that using the service will not require individuals to give up any of their rights to participate in a class-action lawsuit.

This week, the San Francisco City Attorney filed a lawsuit accusing the company of failing to allow Californians to protect themselves, according to CNBC.


Mayor Emanuel said the company added insult to injury by marketing what he calls a "fraudulent product" for identity theft protection that would prevent consumers from later suing the company and would begin to charge them a fee after the first year. Morningstar estimates that total credit bureau industry revenue equates to only 1.5 basis points of total household debt.

As a precaution, the widespread advice from financial advisers is to request a freeze of your credit from each of the three big credit reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. "I have rarely seen such a botched response to an existential threat". The chief information officer and chief security officer left the company on September 14.

But it appears unlikely that Smith will be subject to clawback provisions under federal law. The organisation has scheduled hearings in Washington DC before the House Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection.

An Equifax spokesman didn't say whether the company will seek to recover some of Smith's past pay.

Over the past three years, his compensation totaled nearly $41.8 million, mostly from stock awards and bonuses, including nearly $15 million last year. She noted that despite discovering the breach on July 29 and retaining a cybersecurity firm to investigate it four days later, Equifax failed to disclose those material facts during an investor presentation on August 16th. Even though a fix was released, Equifax did not immediately install it.


If you're concerned that your information has been compromised, you may want to register for both Equifax's free TrustedID Premier program and credit monitoring from a company that also reviews activity in your credit and bank accounts.

"Equifax has to look like it's taking this seriously and making big changes all the way to the top", he says. And certainly the city will have to get in line behind scores of others demanding their pound of flesh from Equifax. On Tuesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, called on Smith and other Equifax executives to return some compensation.

However, he opened the door to potentially forcing the executives to return the proceeds of the stock sales, if the company's six-week delay in disclosing the breach is found to be improper.

For consumers, the personal information exposed to fraud and identity theft could mean a lifetime of closely monitoring and defending personal data to fight theft, fines and more.




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