BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana will receive over $3 million of the largest data breach settlement in history. Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency involved in the 2017 data breach, agreed to pay the states a total of $175 million, which includes $3,073,524.95 for Louisiana.
A coalition of Attorneys General had reached the settlement with Equifax as the result of an investigation into a massive data breach, according to July 22nd news release from Attorney General Jeff Landry.
The settlement is the largest data breach enforcement action in history and includes a Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million, a $175 million payment to the states, and injunctive relief that contains a significant financial commitment.
“Equifax failed to maintain a reasonable security system, enabling hackers to penetrate its systems and expose the data of 56 percent of American adults,” Landry said. “I am proud of our office’s work to get justice for Louisiana’s consumers and all Americans impacted this historic breach of consumer data.”
After the breach that exposed the personal information of millions of consumers, including their social security and credit card numbers, the coalition launched a multi-state investigation.
The investigation found that the breach happened because Equifax failed to implement an adequate security program to protect consumers’ highly sensitive personal information.
Despite knowing about a critical vulnerability in its software, Equifax failed to fully patch its systems. Moreover, Equifax failed to replace software that monitored the breached network for suspicious activity.
As a result, attackers broke into Equifax’s system, which went unnoticed for 76 days. Under the terms of the settlement, Equifax agreed to provide a single Consumer Restitution Fund of up to $425 million—with $300 million dedicated to consumer redress.
If the $300 million is exhausted, the fund can increase by up to an additional $125 million. The company will also offer affected consumers extended credit-monitoring services for a total of 10 years.
Equifax has also agreed to take several steps to assist consumers who are either facing identity theft issues or who have already had their identities stolen.