Equifax has been in major damage control mode since news of the massive data breach broke this morning. The hack compromised the personal information of up to 143 million Americans between May and July of this year, and over 200,000 of them had credit card numbers stolen, too.
At first, the credit rating company appeared to be comfortably out in front of the embarrassing episode. They had a thorough information campaign ready to go this morning, as well as remedies in place to protect customers who’d been compromised.
But a backlash ensued when customers realized Equifax wanted them to forfeit their right to sue the company in order to receive the protection services they were offering.
Equifax’s arbitration statement 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.”
Equifax was forced to walk back this clause in an embarrassing clarification on its website, first reported by Tech Crunch:
This story is only hours old and already Equifax is doing damage control over its damage control. As the news spreads and more and more people discover their personal information has been compromised, however, this likely won’t be the last time.
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.