General

Nearly 50 lawsuits filed against Equifax

NBC Nightly News (9/12, story 5, 2:25, Holt, 16.61M) reported that “nearly 50 lawsuits” have already been filed in federal court against Equifax over its data breach, “including a multi-billion dollar class action suit.” Additionally, 36 senators on Tuesday “called for federal investigations into three Equifax executives who sold stock before the breach went public although the company has said they didn’t know of the breach.”

The CBS Evening News (9/12, story 5, 2:10, Mason, 11.17M) reported that Eva Velasquez of the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center is telling concerned individuals that the “best option” to help halt immediate identity theft is a credit freeze. She said, “The credit freeze will lock the criminals out of opening financial accounts in your name. … It really is worth that little bit of inconvenience in order to basically lock it down and keep the thieves out.”

The Los Angeles Times (9/12, Puzzanghera, 4.49M) says Equifax is now “in the cross-hairs of congressional committees and one of the nation’s most aggressive attorneys general, while fueling a new push for stronger protections on Americans’ personal information,” and adds, “Even the Trump administration, which has advocated slashing government rules, has indicated new regulations might be needed.” The Times also says that the breach “could scuttle Republican efforts to limit the liability faced by credit reporting companies and other financial firms in disputes with consumers.”

Politico (9/12, Bennett, Matishak, 3.6M) reports that the “widespread outrage” aimed at Equifax “still may not be enough to jolt Congress into action.” Politico says, “Despite a spate of lawsuits, law enforcement investigations and upcoming congressional hearings on the breach, industry groups and consumer advocates expressed only limited hope about ending the Capitol’s decade-long logjam on legislation to protect Americans whose private information is falling into criminals’ hands at record rates.” Politico adds, “Advocates are holding out hope, however, saying the Equifax breach is different – among the worst of all time, exposing data that are considered the crown jewels for identity thieves. “

Banks’ efforts to resist arbitration clause complicated by Equifax breach. Bloomberg News (9/12, Dexheimer, 4.52M) reports JPMorgan, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup “are defending their practice of requiring customers to resolve disputes through arbitration” just as Equifax’s “massive data breach complicates efforts to fend off rules that would make it much easier for consumers to sue banks.” Last month, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “sent letters to 16 of the biggest US lenders demanding information on how they use mandatory arbitration,” and “their responses, released on Tuesday, show many banks argue it benefits consumers by frequently leading to bigger payouts and quicker resolution of complaints than lawsuits do.”



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