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Opinion Don't waste your breath complaining to Equifax about data breach

19:05  12 september  2017
19:05  12 september  2017 Source:   cnn.com

Massive Equifax Data Breach May Impact Half of U.S. Population

  Massive Equifax Data Breach May Impact Half of U.S. Population Equifax on Thursday revealed a breach that exposed 143 million people's social security numbers, credit cards, driver's license numbers and other private information.EARLIER: A massive cyber security incident at Equifax — one of the largest credit reporting agencies in the United States — may have exposed private information belonging to 143 million people — nearly half of the U.S. population.

Bruce Schneier says we can' t rely on the marketplace to regulate the many companies that track our data ; only government action can protect our privacy, and it's badly needed now.

Last Thursday, Equifax reported a data breach that affects 143 million US customers, about 44% of the population. If you don ' t like how careless Equifax was with your data , don ' t waste your breath complaining to Equifax .

  Don't waste your breath complaining to Equifax about data breach © Mike Stewart / AP Images

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

Last Thursday, Equifax reported a data breach that affects 143 million US customers, about 44% of the population. It's an extremely serious breach; hackers got access to full names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver's license numbers -- exactly the sort of information criminals can use to impersonate victims to banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and other businesses vulnerable to fraud.

What to do if you were hit by the Equifax breach

  What to do if you were hit by the Equifax breach An estimated 143 million U.S. consumers could be affected by a cybersecurity attack carried out against Equifax, one of the nation's three largest credit-reporting companies. Normally one of the first things victims are told to do is to go to a credit-reporting company and request their records to make sure that there are no unauthorized accounts or charges on their existing accounts. This time around, experts suggest checking with Equifax rivals, Experian and TransUnion.

Don ’ t waste your breath complaining to Equifax about data breach . Posted on September 16, 2017September 16, 2017 by floydb1129 in ITNews.

You're its product. This happened because your personal information is valuable, and Equifax is in the business of selling it.

Many sites posted guides to protecting yourself now that it's happened. But if you want to prevent this kind of thing from happening again, your only solution is government regulation (as unlikely as that may be at the moment).

The market can't fix this. Markets work because buyers choose between sellers, and sellers compete for buyers. In case you didn't notice, you're not Equifax's customer. You're its product.

This happened because your personal information is valuable, and Equifax is in the business of selling it. The company is much more than a credit reporting agency. It's a data broker. It collects information about all of us, analyzes it all, and then sells those insights.

Its customers are people and organizations who want to buy information: banks looking to lend you money, landlords deciding whether to rent you an apartment, employers deciding whether to hire you, companies trying to figure out whether you'd be a profitable customer -- everyone who wants to sell you something, even governments.

Equifax cyberattack triggers class-action lawsuit

  Equifax cyberattack triggers class-action lawsuit Credit-reporting giant Equifax was hit with a class-action lawsuit within hours after disclosing that a cyberattack had potentially compromised personal information for 143 million U.S. consumers. Credit-reporting giant Equifax was hit with a class-action lawsuit within hours after disclosing that a cyberattack had potentially compromised personal information for 143 million U.S. consumers.

Bruce Schneier says we can' t rely on the marketplace to regulate the many companies that track our data ; only government action can protect our privacy, and it's badly needed now. Great read from @schneierblog on Equifax and responses. Lots of good context here, outside of Equifax .

The Equifax data breach revealed the personal information of over 143 million citizens - roughly 1/3 Mon Apr 23 20:17:00 +0000 2018. Don ' t waste your breath complaining to Equifax about data @SenDeanHeller @facebook Is this going to be like the Equifax breach where you said a lot of angry

It's not just Equifax. It might be one of the biggest, but there are 2,500 to 4,000 other data brokers that are collecting, storing, and selling information about you -- almost all of them companies you've never heard of and have no business relationship with.

Surveillance capitalism fuels the Internet, and sometimes it seems that everyone is spying on you. You're secretly tracked on pretty much every commercial website you visit. Facebook is the largest surveillance organization mankind has created; collecting data on you is its business model. I don't have a Facebook account, but Facebook still keeps a surprisingly complete dossier on me and my associations -- just in case I ever decide to join.

I also don't have a Gmail account, because I don't want Google storing my email. But my guess is that it has about half of my email anyway, because so many people I correspond with have accounts. I can't even avoid it by choosing not to write to gmail.com addresses, because I have no way of knowing if newperson@company.com is hosted at Gmail.

What you need to know about the Equifax data breach

  What you need to know about the Equifax data breach Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting companies, said this week that a major data breach exposed Social Security numbers and other important information of millions of people. The breach affected about 143 million in the United States, as well as some people in Canada and the United Kingdom, but Equifax didn't provide a number. Hackers had access to the data between May and July, Equifax said. The company discovered the hack on July 29 and publicly announced it more than a month later on Thursday.

http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/11/opinions/dont- complain - to - equifax -demand-government-act-opinion-schneier/index.html.

Don ' t waste your breath complaining to Equifax about from identity theft in the wake of Equifax 's data breach , for December 2017. CLOSE. Credit bureau's response makes a grave situation worse: Our view.

And again, many companies that track us do so in secret, without our knowledge and consent. And most of the time we can't opt out. Sometimes it's a company like Equifax that doesn't answer to us in any way. Sometimes it's a company like Facebook, which is effectively a monopoly because of its sheer size. And sometimes it's our cell phone provider. All of them have decided to track us and not compete by offering consumers privacy. Sure, you can tell people not to have an email account or cell phone, but that's not a realistic option for most people living in 21st-century America.

The companies that collect and sell our data don't need to keep it secure in order to maintain their market share. They don't have to answer to us, their products. They know it's more profitable to save money on security and weather the occasional bout of bad press after a data loss. Yes, we are the ones who suffer when criminals get our data, or when our private information is exposed to the public, but ultimately why should Equifax care?

Yes, it's a huge black eye for the company -- this week. Soon, another company will have suffered a massive data breach and few will remember Equifax's problem. Does anyone remember last year when Yahoo admitted that it exposed personal information of a billion users in 2013 and another half billion in 2014?

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Last Thursday, Equifax reported a data breach that affects 143 million US customers, about 44% of the population. If you don ' t like how careless Equifax was with your data , don ' t waste your breath complaining to Equifax .

This market failure isn't unique to data security. There is little improvement in safety and security in any industry until government steps in. Think of food, pharmaceuticals, cars, airplanes, restaurants, workplace conditions, and flame-retardant pajamas.

Market failures like this can only be solved through government intervention. By regulating the security practices of companies that store our data, and fining companies that fail to comply, governments can raise the cost of insecurity high enough that security becomes a cheaper alternative. They can do the same thing by giving individuals affected by these breaches the ability to sue successfully, citing the exposure of personal data itself as a harm.

By all means, take the recommended steps to protect yourself from identity theft in the wake of Equifax's data breach, but recognize that these steps are only effective on the margins, and that most data security is out of your hands. Perhaps the Federal Trade Commission will get involved, but without evidence of "unfair and deceptive trade practices," there's nothing it can do. Perhaps there will be a class-action lawsuit, but because it's hard to draw a line between any of the many data breaches you're subjected to and a specific harm, courts are not likely to side with you.

If you don't like how careless Equifax was with your data, don't waste your breath complaining to Equifax. Complain to your government.

Time to do a 15 minute cybersecurity makeover .
Scan today’s headlines and it’s easy to see it’s a scary time in the digital age: an Equifax hack exposing up to 143 million credit records; mobile malware (malicious software) that targets early versions of Android Oreo; and new “phishing” scams affecting WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger users. Makes you want to unplug and go back to basics, no?You don’t have to – so long as you take some necessary precautions to safeguard your information.And despite popular belief, you don’t need to be tech savvy or spend countless hours setting up a few security measures.The following is a look at how to up your game in only a few minutes.

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