A class action lawsuit has been filed in San Diego against the credit monitoring agency Equifax, with potentially millions of people eligible to join the action.
The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court on September 8th on behalf of two San Diego residents against Equifax for negligence, unfair competition, and unlawful business practices under California’s Business & Professions Code §17200.
The named plaintiffs, Ehud Gersten and Hannah Obradovich, claim in their complaint that Equifax held customers’ private information in an “unsecure electronic environment in violation of California’s data breach laws.”
The two San Diego residents have been customers of Equifax since applying for credit in the early 2000s.
Equifax announced that the data exposed in the security breach included nearly 210,000 US credit card numbers and documents containing personal identifying information for roughly 182,000 consumers in the United States.
“Equifax has yet to disclose to consumers whether their specific personal data was impacted by this massive security breach,” the complaint states. “The dedicated website Equifax created to help consumers figure out if their information has been impacted only offers an enrollment date for its credit monitoring program.”
The plaintiffs seek to recover damages, restitution, reimbursement of their costs and expenses including those spent on credit monitoring services. The complaint also calls for injunctive relief that requires Equifax to improve its data security.
“Equifax knew or should have known that its failure to meet this duty would cause substantial harm to Plaintiffs and the Classes, including serious risks of credit harm and identity theft for years to come,” the complaint alleged. The complaint cites to previous data attacks that were concealed from its customers. The plaintiffs say that Equifax knew about the unauthorized access to consumers’ private information on July 29th but failed to inform its customers until September 7th.
The complaint goes on to state that there could be as many as 143 million people in a national class and tens of millions in a state class.
Equifax said it will bolster its call center staffing to take increased customer service calls. The company also says consumers will now receive randomly-generated PINs when they attempt to place a security freeze on their credit.
This litigation may call for the services of an expert witness in data security.