Updated 9:00 a.m. MDT, 7/27/19
Monday, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes announced that a national settlement has been reached with Equifax — the consumer credit reporting agency whose 2017 data breach exposed the personal information of over half of American adults. That number includes more than 1.2 million Utahns.
In the largest data-breach settlement in history, the company will pay up to $700 million in restitution and penalties.
$300 million will be directed to a fund to compensate consumers impacted by the breach. Equifax will add up to $125 million to the fund if the initial amount is exhausted. Cash payments of a maximum of $20,000 per person will be available for consumers who had out-of-pocket expenses as a result of the breach.
In a statement, Attorney General Reyes urged Utahns to take advantage of the settlement to access free credit monitoring, identity theft protection and other services and reimbursements provided by Equifax.
“Just the fear and uncertainty alone from a breach victimizes those whose data is compromised,” he said. “I’m hopeful this offers some measure of relief to Utahns whose lives have been disrupted or even more significantly damaged.”
Additionally, $175 million will be paid to the states — of which, Utah will receive $1.4 million. Another $100 million will be paid in penalties to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The settlement comes as the result of a nearly two-year investigation launched by a coalition of state attorneys general shortly after the 2017 incident.
Utah consumers can visit the Equifax Settlement Breach online registry to check eligibility for compensation or to submit a claim.
David Fuchs is a Report for America corps member who reports from KUER's Southwest Bureau in St. George.