The Attorney General is the chief law enforcement officer in the state. Our office represents the state in all matters in which the state is a party or has an interest. We are dedicated to the protection of the health and safety of all Vermonters.
We've reached a settlement with @Equifax for their 2017 data breach which exposed the personal data of 250,000+ Vermonters. Equifax failed to maintain reasonable security & will now pay affected consumers $425M + $1.85M to VT.
Today I announced that a coalition of attorneys general reached a settlement with Equifax after an investigation into the largest-ever breach of consumer data. The investigation found that Equifax’s failure to maintain a reasonable security system enabled hackers to penetrate its systems, exposing the data of 56 percent of American adults, including more than 250,000 Vermonters in 2017.
The settlement with Equifax includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million which will reimburse consumers for out-of-pocket costs that resulted from the breach (such as fees paid for credit freezes or professional fees paid to address identity theft) and compensate consumers for up to 20 hours of time spent remedying issues arising from the breach, at $25 per hour. Equifax will also offer affected consumers extended credit-monitoring services for a total of 10 years, and 18 years for affected minors. Consumers will be able to obtain information about the settlement, check their eligibility to file a claim, and file a claim on the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry, www.EquifaxBreachSettlement.com.
This was a historic and unprecedented breach of consumer data. Vermonters deserve to have their most sensitive personal data protected by the companies who handle it, especially when obtained without their clearly expressed consent. When a major corporation like Equifax, whose sole business is trading in other peoples’ data, does not take basic steps to protect that data, there must be serious legal consequences. I believe this settlement will help Vermonters respond to Equifax's failure to maintain a reasonable security system.
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