Fine print in Equifax's ID theft protection offer raises eyebrow - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

Fine print in Equifax's ID theft protection offer raises eyebrows

(Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)
MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

News has been widely reported of a massive data breach at Equifax, one of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies. Something not as widely reported? The fine print of Equifax's "complimentary identity theft protection and credit file monitoring" offer.

The offer, made available on the agency's webpage in the wake of Thursday's news that some 143 million Americans' sensitive data may have been compromised or stolen, requires enrollment. Some language in the fine print of the enrollment section has raised some eyebrows. 

A portion of the fine print reads:

"By consenting to submit Your Claims to arbitration, You will be forfeiting Your right to bring or participate in any class action (whether as a named plaintiff or a class member) or to share in any class action awards, including class claims where a class has not yet been certified, even if the facts and circumstances upon which the Claims are based already occurred or existed."

This language appears to limit a person's ability to join a class action lawsuit against Equifax. This arbitration clause raised concern and sparked outrage on social media.

Friday night, Equifax released a statement in response to the concerns about the arbitration clause. In the statement the company says "In response to consumer inquiries, we have made it clear that the arbitration clause and class action waiver included in the Equifax and TrustedID Premier terms of use does not apply to this cybersecurity incident."

AS A CONSUMER, WHAT TO DO:

Beyond the usual steps of checking credit reports regularly and watching for abnormal transactions on your accounts, it may be time to take more extreme measures to lock down your information, according to the Associated Press.

Here are some of the steps you can take.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.

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