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Equifax to pay at least $575 million in settlement with FTC, CFPB and states over 2017 hack

Ciara Linnane

Credit monitoring company Equifax Inc. has agreed to pay at least $575 million, and potentially up to $700 million, in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories over the 2017 hack that exposed private information of about 147 million. Equifax will pay $300 million into a fund that will provide affected consumers with credit monitoring services and compensate customers for out-of-pocket expenses associated with the hack. The company will boost that fund by up to $125 million if it proves inadequate. Starting next January, the company will provide all U.S. consumers with six free credit reports a year for seven years, on top of the one free annual report that Equifax and two other credit reporting agencies already provide. The company will pay $175 million to the states, and $100 million to the CFPB in civil penalties. "The incident at Equifax underscores the evolving cyber security threats confronting both private and government computer systems and actions they must take to shield the personal information of consumers," FTC Chairman Joe Simons said in a statement. "Too much is at stake for the financial security of the American people to make these protections anything less than a top priority." Equifax shares were slightly lower premarket, but have gained 47% in 2019, while the S&P 500 has gained 18.7%.