A federal court judge on Monday ruled that lawsuits can proceed against Equifax Inc. over its massive 2017 data breach.
Two separate tracks of litigation, one for consumers and another for financial institutions who claim they were harmed by the data breach, have been slowly moving forward in federal court in Atlanta since late 2017.
On Sept. 7, 2017, Equifax (NYSE: EFX) revealed it was the subject of one of the largest data breaches in history. From mid-May through the end of July 2017, hackers stole the personal and financial information of nearly 150 million Americans. During this time period, Equifax failed to detect the hackers’ presence in its systems, allowing the hackers to take massive amounts of sensitive personal data that was in the company’s possession.
The hackers stole at least 146.6 million names, 146.6 million dates of birth, 145.5 million Social Security numbers, 99 million addresses, 17.6 million driver’s license numbers, 209,000 credit card numbers, and 97,500 tax identification numbers.
“This data breach is unprecedented – it affected almost half of the entire American population,” notes U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. in his Jan. 28 orders. To read Judge Thrash’s order in the consumer litigation, click here. To read his order in the financial institutions’ litigation, click here.