News has been widely reported of a massive data breach at Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies. Something not as widely reported? The fine print of Equifax's "complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring" offer.
The offer, made available on the agency's webpage in the wake of Thursday's news that some 143 million Americans' sensitive data may have been compromised or stolen, requires enrollment. Some language in the fine print of the enrollment section has raised some eyebrows.
A portion of the fine print reads:
"By consenting to submit Your Claims to arbitration, You will be forfeiting Your right to bring or participate in any class action (whether as a named plaintiff or a class member) or to share in any class action awards, including class claims where a class has not yet been certified, even if the facts and circumstances upon which the Claims are based already occurred or existed."
This language appears to limit a person's ability to join a class action lawsuit against Equifax. This arbitration clause raised concern and sparked outrage on social media.
AS A CONSUMER, WHAT TO DO:
Beyond the usual steps of checking credit reports regularly and watching for abnormal transactions on your accounts, it may be time to take more extreme measures to lock down your information, according to the Associated Press.
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