: While New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the forced arbitration terms of service are "unenforceable" and should be removed, Equifax has added language to its "
By all accounts, the Equifax data breach is, as we reported Thursday, "very possibly the worst leak of personal info ever." The incident affects possibly as many as 143 million people.
The breach, via a security flaw on the Equifax website, included full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and driver license numbers in some cases. Many of the affected consumers have never even directly done business with the giant consumer credit reporting agency.
But if you want to find out if your data might have been exposed, you waive your right to sue the Atlanta-based company. We’re not making this up. The company has now published a website allowing consumers to input their last six digits of their Social Security numbers to find out.
AGREEMENT TO RESOLVE ALL DISPUTES BY BINDING INDIVIDUAL ARBITRATION. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE SECTION CAREFULLY BECAUSE IT AFFECTS YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS BY REQUIRING ARBITRATION OF DISPUTES (EXCEPT AS SET FORTH BELOW) AND A WAIVER OF THE ABILITY TO BRING OR PARTICIPATE IN A CLASS ACTION, CLASS ARBITRATION, OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE ACTION. ARBITRATION PROVIDES A QUICK AND COST EFFECTIVE MECHANISM FOR RESOLVING DISPUTES, BUT YOU SHOULD BE AWARE THAT IT ALSO LIMITS YOUR RIGHTS TO DISCOVERY AND APPEAL.
Of course, it will be up to the courts to decide whether arbitration agreements are enforceable. The legal standard is whether they’re "unconscionable." We’ll find out soon enough because class-action lawsuits are already being lodged on behalf of breach victims.
Minutes after we published this post, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman strongly challenged the terms of service in a tweet to his followers:
— Eric Schneiderman (@AGSchneiderman) September 8, 2017
Whether Equifax victims would come out any better or worse via arbitration versus a class-action is anybody’s guess. Unlike arbitration disputes, class actions don’t require victims to take on any out-of-pocket expenses.
There is some fine print that allows you to opt out of arbitration if you notify Equifax in writing within 30 days of "accepting this agreement." And the terms also allow you to go to small claims court to individually handle your grievance.
Equifax did not immediately respond for comment.
from Ars Technica https://arstechnica.com/?p=1161307