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Hawaii to receive $1 million from Equifax over massive data breach

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    The corporate headquarters of Equifax Inc. in Atlanta as seen in July 2012.

The state of Hawaii will receive one million dollars as the result of a large, multi-state settlement with Equifax Inc., one of the largest consumer reporting agencies in the world, regarding a major data breach in 2017.

Stephen Levins, executive director of the State of Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection announced the $1 million settlement today, in addition to consumer restitution.

“Equifax’s conduct undermined consumers’ confidence in the ability of the credit reporting industry to safeguard confidential information,” said Levins in a news release. “This settlement will send a strong message to Equifax and to other companies that failing to implement adequate protections will have severe consequences.”

Hawaii was part of a coalition of 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, that conducted the investigation and negotiated the terms of the settlement.

On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax announced a data breach exposing the data of more than 147 million Americans, which included social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, credit card numbers, and in some cases, driver’s license numbers.

Shortly afterward, a coalition launched a multi-state investigation into the breach that found Equifax knew about a critical vulnerability in its software but failed to fully update its systems with a critical security patch. Moreover, Equifax failed to keep up-to-date software that monitored the breached network for suspicious activity.

As a result, attackers penetrated Equifax’s system and went unnoticed for 76 days.

The settlement includes up to $425 million in a Consumer Restitution Fund and $175 million payment to the states. Equifax agreed to strengthen its security program and to pay an additional $100 million to settle a federal investigation at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Restitution to consumers will be conducted in connection with settlements that have been reached in the multi-district class actions filed against Equifax, as well as settlements that were reached with the Federal Trade Commission and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

In addition, Equifax will offer consumers whose information was breached extended credit-monitoring services for 10 years and assistance to consumers who are either facing identity theft issues or who have already had their identities stolen.

Individuals who have questions about their eligibility for restitution or wish to enroll in credit monitoring should contact 1-833-759-2982 or visit this Federal Trade Commission website for the data breach settlement.

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