It was big news last week. The FTC announced that Equifax and FTC settled on a deal over the Equifax breach that affected over 140,000,000 people. Users whose information were leaked could elect to receive either a $125 cash settlement or 10 years of identity monitoring. Turns out that way more people wanted the cash but the payout pool was only funded for $31 million dollars. With the huge interest in the cash payout, the actual amount will be reduced by the total amount of claims for cash and that is likely to be way less than $125. To get to that figure there would have to be no more than 248,000 claimants. The number of claimants is said to be huge --way over the amount allocated. Who knows? You may get enough compensation for a burger and if very lucky a Beyond or Impossible Burger. Or you might not even get enough for a large soda. Breaking out Excel and dividing 31 Million by 140,000,000 = .22 or 22 cents. No soda for you. Well maybe not everyone will file. Of course, the limitation was noted in the fine print in the terms of the agreement but no one reads those. What’s more curious is the FTC usually frowns on burying important terms in the fine print. So not sure what went wrong there. The chances are good that you, me and 140,000,000 others are eligible.
Would you have taken the cash or identity monitoring?
Breach victims who had their identities compromised AND who had actual financial out of pocket damages up to $20,000 are probably still covered (unless they used the same lame calculator).
According to The Washington Post "All told, the settlements hashed out between Equifax and state and federal authorities included $300 million to compensate affected consumers, though that fund could grow to as much as $425 million if the claims drain the initial $300 million. Equifax also must pay $175 million to states and $100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
If there’s anything left in the $300 million fund after the 4½-year extended claim period, any unused money can be applied toward lifting the $31 million cap, the FTC spokesman said."
Many consumers pushed back on the FTC’s suggestion that victims take free credit monitoring. In a comment posted beneath the FTC’s post, one claimant said “my data has been compromised numerous times and I’ve received numerous free credit monitoring compensations.”
More on this in Washington Post