The Equifax settlement has a provision through which victims can claim a cash payment for "time spent."If you spent hours researching what to do about the breach, setting up credit freezes, hopping on the phone with your bank, or doing anything else remotely relevant, you can claim up to $250 for that time without needing to show any specific evidence.
But Rotenberg notes that without a comprehensive data breach response plan within the federal government, a settlement like Equifax's may not have been much more effective even with an FTC fine.
They've negotiated a settlement with Equifax that entitles all victims to 10 years of free credit monitoring, or $125. This (unfortunately) could actually come in handy, given that Social Security numbers taken from Equifax are starting to show up on the dark web, and consumers have already suffered identity theft related to the breach, according to Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro.
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The state and federal groups that investigated Equifax touted the payout as an important wake-up call for all US corporations—especially since Equifax will also be required to make hundreds of millions of dollars of additional internal cybersecurity improvements on top of the fines.