April 7, 2020

City of Chicago Reaches Settlement with Equifax

Settlement recovers $1.5 million

Kathy Fieweger    312.744.1575 | kathleen.fieweger@cityofchicago.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

CHICAGO – The City of Chicago’s Department of Law today announced it has obtained a $1.5 million settlement with Equifax Inc. regarding the 2017 cybersecurity breach affecting 147 million people, including residents of Chicago. 

“This settlement represents a significant achievement by the law department, which worked hard on this matter to enforce City law protecting against unfair business practices,” said Corporation Counsel Mark Flessner. 

The City of Chicago filed a lawsuit in 2017 against Equifax, alleging that Equifax employed inadequate data-security measures that led to the breach. 

The data breach, which Equifax first disclosed to the public on September 7, 2017, exposed sensitive personal and financial data of Chicago residents, including full names, social security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, and for some, credit card numbers, driver’s license numbers and other personally-identifiable information. 

According to the lawsuit, Equifax could and should have prevented the data breach by implementing and maintaining reasonable safeguards, consistent with representations it made to the public in its marketing materials and privacy policies, and compliant with industry standards, best practices, and the requirements of municipal law. 

Stephen Kane, deputy corporation counsel, said that the City’s settlement complemented settlements reached with Equifax by the federal government, state governments and private plaintiffs. Chicago is one of the few municipalities including the District of Columbia to receive a settlement in the litigation against Equifax.

 

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