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Before its massive data breach, Equifax fought to kill a rule allowing victims to sue – Los Angeles Times

The data collection and monitoring firm Equifax has been properly flayed for the massive data breach it disclosed last week, as well as for its weak and dishonest response to the breach.

The firm has rectified some of the flaws in its response to the breach, which exposed the personal data of 143 million American consumers to hackers. But it hasn’t backed off from another action that would undermine consumers’ ability to hold the entire consumer monitoring industry accountable for such breaches: A concerted campaign to repeal a federal regulation upholding consumers’ rights to sue.

The regulation, issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 10 and scheduled to go into effect in mid-January, came under attack by Republicans in Congress “before the ink was even dry,” says Amanda Werner of Americans for Financial Reform, which is fighting to retain the rule. Under its provisions, financial firms would be prohibited from saddling consumers with arbitration clauses that prevent the consumers from filing or joining class-action lawsuits against the firms.

The rule wouldn’t cover the latest Equifax breach, which occurred before it was made final. But it would have prevented the confusion that arose last week in the wake of the breach: Equifax was caught steering consumers trying to find out if they were affected to a one-year “free” credit monitoring service that contained an arbitration clause forbidding class actions.

Before its massive data breach, Equifax fought to kill a rule allowing victims to sue – Los Angeles Times

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