20 minutes –
Based on the relatively small amount of coverage given by corporate media you would get the impression that the theft of vital information from nearly 60% of adult Americans (see video above) is no big deal. If we had a responsible media this story would be covered on a daily basis with a reminder to be checking your accounts frequently.
Also as noted in the video, this is not a short term problem. This will be something that may roll out over decades.
If you have followed this at all you know that Equifax just released the information about the data breach after SITTING ON THE STORY FOR NEARLY TWO MONTHS!!!! And while they were sitting on this story, the officers of the company dumped their stock fully knowing that had information the public did not have.
Don’t forget that party that loves business has done all they could to kill the one small slice of protection that our government currently offers against corporate predators like Equifax. That would be the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that was born in the mind of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and is headed by the brilliant Richard Cordray.
Remember also that the three credit rating corporations, Equifax, Experion and Transunion have credit information on nearly every American even though few ever knowingly gave that information to those companies. Don’t think you did business with one of these companies. You are in for a surprise!
Since another blogger has done an excellent job of putting my frustrations to words, I shall borrow a few paragraphs from him. From Clete Wetli at al.com:
Months after discovering that the personal data of over 143 million Americans had been hacked, the credit rating company Equifax finally decided to let consumers know that their data had been stolen. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. They announced that a breach had occurred and that they would let consumers find out if they had been affected, provided they do one tiny little thing. That teeny tiny thing happened to be waiving any legal rights to pursue action against Equifax for not properly protecting their personal data.
That’s almost as good a deal as getting the one year’s worth of free credit monitoring so you can learn how your personal data is being exploited and not being able to do much about it. There’s probably a legal disclaimer on that, too, preventing you from taking any substantive action or getting any type of justice.
You probably should have thought about all that when you signed up for Equifax. Oh, that’s right you didn’t because no one ever asked you. That’s just the price of having a credit rating, whether you like it or not. Trust me, it’s all buried in the fine print somewhere.
This is just fabulous news for consumers after the Wells Fargo fraud where millions of people were signed up unknowingly for financial products. After their initial investigation where they claimed they had identified all the customers affected, Wells Fargo now says it involved several million more. Ooops. Well, they offered refunds to all the customers they bilked so everything should just be fine, right? The bank is still making enormous profits even after all their payouts to customers for ripping them off.
The move to quell class-action lawsuits by Equifax shows how large companies care very little about doing the right thing. They’re only worried about their bottom line and damage control.
I heartily recommend clicking on the link to read the whole article.
Over at downwithtyranny.blogspot.com Gaius Publius says the best thing you can do is:
Put a “security freeze” on each of the three major credit bureaus
A security freeze (aka “credit freeze”) will prevent the credit bureaus from selling your data to anyone. It will not prevent hackers from stealing that info, but it will make it very difficult for them – or for those who buy that data from them – to use this data to open credit accounts in your name and steal your identity. If they submit your data to a credit card company to apply in your name for a credit card, the credit card company checks with credit bureaus to confirm this information and review your credit. But since there is a credit freeze on your account, Equifax cannot disclose that information, and the credit card company will not open an account in your name.
Note: Even if you try to open a new bank account or credit account, you will not be able to, unless you first remove the credit freeze. Credit freezes do not impact current banking and credit relationships; they continue as normal.
Let me add that you need to make a note to check your financial information regularly. The media will be done with this story soon if they aren’t already and government in the hands of corporate stooges doesn’t care if you are robbed blind.