AG Hawley announces investigation into Equifax

9 months 3 weeks 6 days ago Tuesday, September 19 2017 Sep 19, 2017 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 4:48:00 PM CDT September 19, 2017 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Josh Hawley announced his office's investigation into Equifax Tuesday, along with attorneys general from 43 other states.

The investigation began shortly after Equifax announced a security breach had exposed the personal information of 143 million Americans to hackers.

“My office is working aggressively to protect the interests of Missourians in light of the recent Equifax breach,” Hawley said in a news release.

Investigators are seeking information from Equifax about what caused the breach, why it took the company nearly two months to announce the breach after it had occurred, what security Equifax had at the time of the breach and how Equifax plans to protect affected customers.

In a letter addressed to the Equifax lead defense counsel, Hawley and the other attorneys general outlined major concerns that have come to the attention of their offices during their investigations.

Chief among the concerns was Equifax offering fee-based credit monitoring while simultaneously offering the same service for free. The letter decried the practice as an attempt to profit from consumer uncertainty and fear.  

"We object to Equifax seemingly using its own data breach as an opportunity to sell services to breach victims," Hawley and the other attorney's general wrote. "Selling a fee-based product that competes with Equifax's own free offer of credit monitoring services to victims of Equifax's own data breach is unfair, particularly if consumers are not sure if their information was compromised."

Other concerns included Equifax terms of service that required costumers to waive their rights, charges costumers pay for a security freeze with other credit monitoring companies like Experian, TransUnion, and Innovis and overly long wait times for the Equifax customer support call center.
You can read the full letter here. 

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