You probably by now have heard the shocking news that Equifax has been hacked by cyber terrorists which has resulted in the exposure of the personal data and identity of approximately 143 Million people. Now, in an obvious attempt at emergency public relations, Equifax has set up a website where those affected by the security breach, allegedly offering free credit monitoring. But here is the catch (you KNEW there had to be one): If you sign up for the free credit monitoring on the site Equifax has set up to supposedly help customers identify whether their information was stolen as part of the hack, you will (most likely unknowingly) have also signed a forced arbitration clause aimed at keeping consumers out of court, and shielding Equifax from lawsuits.
This comes after we learn that the higher-ups at Equifax, rather than trying to help you,
the potential victims of this massive data breach, sold many of their shares of stock, to the tunes of millions of dollars, knowing that the stock would surely drop after news of the hack became public. A Federal class action
has already been filed, alleging Equifax Chief Financial Officer John Gamble sold Equifax shares worth $946,3874; Joseph Loughran, president of Equifax’s U.S. information solutions, exercised options to sell stock worth $584,099; and Rodolfo Ploder, president of the company’s workforce solutions, sold $250,458 worth of stock.
We have corporate misbehavior of the worst order, and
a terrible data breach that may expose secret information of 143 million people. All on a day when Equifax’s Chamber allies and trade association had several House Republicans holding a hearing pushing Rep. Loudermilk’s bill to gut the FCRA.
Then, to top it off, Equifax urges customers to sign up for a product that supposedly will help protect them, but that product has a fine print forced arbitration clause aimed at killing data breach cases.